A New Square

When I returned to Montreal last fall, I spent much of my time riding around the city on Bixi bikes, which was the closest I’ve ever felt to complete freedom in a very long time: a bike, a city and nothing holding me back from just riding around aimlessly. It gave me a chance to […]

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Tel Père, Tel Fils

La Rochelle, France Montreal, Quebec

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New Signs in Old Montreal

For all that I’ve written about Montreal’s street signs, I haven’t mentioned much about the signs found in Old Montreal, the city’s birthplace and one of its most important tourist attractions. Although the signs here are meant to reflect the red-and-beige colour scheme of the city’s first street signs, they are actually a recent invention, […]

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Films de Mars

The Champ de Mars is one of Montreal’s most storied places. It derives its name from the French colonial era, when it was a military parade ground, but in the eighteenth century it was the site of the city’s northern wall. After the wall was torn down in the early nineteenth century, the Champ was […]

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Suzanne Takes You Down…

John Allison’s 1983 photos of Montreal’s Old Port reveal a neighbourhood essentially unchanged since Leonard Cohen wrote his 1966 song “Suzanne.” Looking at the half-abandoned streets, flanked by greystone warehouses still bearing the imprint of their past occupants, sidewalks claimed by cracks and weeds, it’s hard not to recall the lyrics from that song. Suzanne […]

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Looking Down on Us

The view from behind the Silo No. 5. Photo by Karl Harrison On a late July evening, with the last fingers of dusk lingering in the sky, Karl Harrison and Roma Lake were looking for a roof to climb. They headed south to the Lachine Canal, toward the old Silo No. 5. “We’re going up […]

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