The Old Steel Foundry

My first experience of urban exploration came thanks to an abandoned steel foundry on St. Ambroise St. in St. Henri, on which there was still a piece of 1995 referendum-era graffiti urging us to vote “Oui.” My girlfriend and I walked around the building, exploring some of the more easily accessible areas on the ground […]

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Not Montreal’s Smallest Park, But Close

“It’s not much of a park,” said Jocelyne, a middle-aged woman sitting on a bench in St. Henri, gesturing to the small green space behind her. “It’s okay, but you can’t call it a park because it really isn’t one. There’s no place to wander, nowhere for kids to play. It’s just two benches and […]

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More Exceptional Street Signs

Even now, 40 years after Bill 101 mandated that Montreal conduct its official business in French only, it is not uncommon to find old English or bilingual public signs. While some ideologues might consider this a bad thing, I’m inclined to view it as a window into Montreal’s past, and a fascinating one at that. […]

Condo Conversion Done Right?

Storm brewing over the Atwater Market, St. Henri, Montreal There was a bit of a local controversy last spring over plans to convert Montreal’s former Imperial Tobacco factory and headquarters into condos. The complex, which has stood in the working-class neighbourhood of St. Henri for more than a century, has been empty since 2003 when […]