Morning Coffee: Navarino

Eight years ago, I was an undergraduate student in Montreal, living in a two-room apartment that had nice wood floors but no natural light. One morning in early December, I awoke with my girlfriend, who had an end-of-semester exam, and as we left my building we discovered a thick blanket of fresh show that had […]

The Gap-Toothed Street

Step one: fire When I first moved to Montreal in 2002, the city was littered with vacant lots, many of them in very prominent locations. The lots, which were filled with weeds and surrounded by heavy concrete blocks, had become as much a symbol of the city as potholes and outdoor staircases. Since then, many […]

Coffee and a Letter

Woman reading a hand-written letter in the Navarino bakery-café. Mile End, Montreal, September 25, 2004

Posted in: Canada, Interior Space by Christopher DeWolf 2 Comments , , ,

Dear Hong Kong: Why I Love Bixi

The following essay appears in the August 2010 issue of Muse, a Hong Kong arts and culture magazine. I still remember bicycling up Mount Royal. It was a warm summer night and there were five of us riding through the streets of Montreal, looking for something to do. Somebody suggested heading up the mountain that […]

Postering in Montreal: Legal at Last

Stapling a poster to a Saint-Viateur hydro pole A Quebec Court of Appeal judge has ruled that Montreal’s anti-postering bylaw, which prohibits posters from being stuck to public street furniture, violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Montreal will now have to find a way to legally accommodate posters on public property. We have local […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Canada, Public Space, Society and Culture by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Postering in Montreal: Legal at Last , , ,

Summer Soft-Serve

Dairy Queen in the Petite Patrie. Photo by Kate McDonnell Branded architecture is wrong in so many ways: it’s disposable, it’s a waste of space, it’s vulgar. So then why do I have such a soft spot for Dairy Queen’s little Swiss huts? It must go back to the Dairy Queen at the corner of […]

Hey, Rialto!

The Rialto Theatre is located on the corner of rue Bernard and avenue du Parc, in Montreal’s Mile End neighbourhood. It was built in 1924 and was one of thousands of ornate movie theatres built in North America at the turn of the century, at a time when films were first entering the mainstream. These […]

Plus ça change…

Kate McDonnell pointed the way to some Flickr photos recently uploaded by Michel Gravel, a photojournalist for La Presse whose career has spanned more than 40 years. Many of the photos are street scenes from Montreal in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. What amazes me is how Montreal’s essential character has remained intact despite the […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Canada, Heritage and Preservation, History by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Plus ça change… , , , ,

Dear Hong Kong: A Letter from Montreal

The following essay appears in the April 2010 issue of Muse, a Hong Kong arts and culture magazine. The same issue also contains my feature-length profile on Hong Kong’s “tree professor,” Jim Chi-yung. The magazine can be found at major bookstores throughout the city. In my neighbourhood, I know exactly what language to speak. At […]

The 80 North, a Bitter Cold and Clichés

Croisement sur Park Avenue, 2009 C’est mon premier hiver. Si j’y survis, je fêterai ma première année passée à Montréal. 22h30. Bus 80, direction Nord. Il est là, je l’attend. Place des Arts. Froid intense : trente-cinq degrés sous zéro, avec un vent qui fouette à faire tomber les larmes. L’engin reste sur place, adossé […]

Posted in: Fiction, Society and Culture by Daniel Corbeil Comments Off on The 80 North, a Bitter Cold and Clichés , , , ,

Pasta, Salmone and a P.A. Market

DCORBEIL | Plaisir incandescent, 2009 « Fin d’après-midi de juillet. Soleil qui glisse lentement vers le nord-ouest – typiquement montréalais – que je regarde par la large porte qui s’ouvre sur la terrasse. J’y trouve une amie, française de passage à Montréal, brûlant cigarettes sur cigarettes en étirant de longues conversations oisives à son amoureux sis […]

Posted in: Canada, Fiction, Food, Interior Space, Society and Culture by Daniel Corbeil Comments Off on Pasta, Salmone and a P.A. Market , , , ,

Cute Puppy

Don’t think I’m above posting photos of cute puppies I see on the street.

Posted in: Canada by Christopher DeWolf 1 Comment , , ,

A Hasidic Exodus from Park Avenue?

The Montreal Gazette reported this weekend that the Hasidic community in Outremont and Mile End is suffering from a housing shortage. In 2002, there were about 4,200 Hasidim in the neighbourhood; today there are more than 6,000. Rising property values mean that many new Hasidic families are finding themselves priced out of their own Montreal […]

Manhattanhenge and Montrealhenge

Photo by Arianys León Twice a year, a few weeks before and after the summer solstice, the setting sun aligns perfectly with the east-west axis of Manhattan’s streets in a phenomenon that has been dubbed “Manhattanhenge,” a reference to the way the sun aligns with Stonehenge during the solstices. It got quite a bit of […]