Thursday, June 15, 2017

Bonjour Montreal!

June 2017 - Montreal QC

While in Montreal on the weekend for a family function we had a few hours to spend downtown.

I grew up in Montreal and met John there. I went to high school in the now very hip area known as Mile End.

According to Wikipedia:
Since the 1980s Mile End has been known for its culture as an artistic neighbourhood, home to artists, musicians, writers, and filmmakers such as Arcade Fire, Adam Gollner, Bran Van 3000, Ariane Moffatt, etc. Many art galleries, designers' workshops, boutiques and cafés are found in the neighbourhood, which have played a large role in Mile End being included on numerous lists outlining the world's most cool and unique neighbourhoods.

Nineteenth-century maps and other documents show the name Mile End as the crossroads at Saint-Laurent Road (now Boulevard) and what is now Mont-Royal Avenue. Originally, this road was Côte Sainte-Catherine Road (heading west) and Tanneries Road (heading east). It is probable that the name Mile End was inspired by the East London suburb of the same name.

Our plan was to find some of the murals that are supposed to dot the neighbourhood. We found some, a map would have been great.

We saw this mural as soon as we stepped out of the car and crossed the street.

A pastry shop with a fun name.

Montreal is famous for its triplexes with circular staircases.

I found the following information in a great article in the Mtl Blog.

A "plex," for those who aren't familiar with residential building terminology, is basically just a building with two or more stacked living units. Duplexes refer to a building with two apartments, triplexes for three, quadruplex for four, and so on.

Throwing away all of the economic and cultural factors that may have led to Montreal's abundance of exterior stairways, there is the very real possibility that religion was the driving factor behind the building practice. You see, a private, enclosed staircase would have been regarded as a space where any number of sins could go down, like a torrid love affair between a mail man and a married woman. So, in order to suppress potential sinful acts, outdoor staircases that everyone could see (and judge you upon) were encouraged by the Catholic church.

Montreal bagels since 1957!

St-Viateur Bagel is Montreal’s longest-running bagel bakery, with several business outlets and customers across North America. But for most of bagel history, the baking and eating of bagels were almost totally Jewish pastimes. In the world of Jewish bread, bagels checked in somewhat low on the ladder (on special occasions, people bought challah, not bagels).

That began to change in the 1970s, as people from all kinds of backgrounds discovered a taste for the humble bagel. By the 1990s, bagels had become thoroughly mainstream, as trade publications like Bakers’ Journal described the bagel as the fastest-growing market in baked goods. Bagel shops began opening up all over North America.

Inside the bagel shop.

Making the dough.
To anyone who’s tried them, it’s obvious that Montreal’s bagels are the best. Bagel makers elsewhere make them by machine and bake them in electric ovens. By comparison, traditional Montreal bagels are made with malt and boiled in a honey-water mixture, which gives them their distinctive golden-brown color. Finally, they are baked in wood-fired ovens.

Pac man.

Great name!

 Chicken curry pizza where we stopped for coffee.

Mural painting. Down a lane.

We're back in the car on our way to lunch as we see these.

Another work in progress.

All the streets in this area look like this.

John went around the block and back to this one.
Location of photograph: Rue Guilbault (corner of Saint Urbain)

Notice the Bit coin in top right corner.

Click here for a much better photo of this sculpture outside a hotel on Sherbrooke St.
This work pays homage to the pianist and composer André Mathieu who died in 1968. 
All the instruments used to play the Concerto de Québec are present: French horn, cello, tuba, trumpet, oboe, trombone, viola, violin, bassoon, piccolo, clarinet, the double bass and of course the piano.

The Grand Prix took place on the weekend and the flags were still up.

This cheery lady waved to us as we drove by.

We park the car and do a quick stroll.

Tenderness by Paul Lancz Sherbrooke and Peel.

“Cactus” by Van Fischer

Plaques outside some of the historic homes.

It is now time for lunch with an old friend.

Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global


  1. Montreal looks more photogenic than I would have thought. The theory about external staircases is both interesting and plausible.

  2. ...what a great arts district.

  3. Wonderful shots! It's been awhile since I was last in Montreal.

  4. Great pictures - as you know I always love murals and unexpected art.

  5. What a suspicious lot in Montreal, Jackie! Though I do find some of those staircases very appealing. Heaps of great street art too. Many thanks for the share. :) :)

  6. Neat to get to see your home town after your us travels! You got to be kidding, I was eating a bagel while I was reading your post:):) with proscuitto and mozarella... Seems to be a lot of different kinds of art in your city.A lovely post, Jackie!

  7. Thank you Jackie for sharing these colorful works of art in Montreal! It's like I had a quick amazing tour of your city!

    Greetings from the Philippines!


  8. very interesting post and photos. I would love to have an opportunity one day to visit Montreal.

  9. Awesome post, it covers what I really love to see when I travel - murals, fabulous houses, food, and sculpture. It seems as if I'm forever talking about going to Montreal and Quebec and never get there.

    Worth a Thousand Words

  10. The street art is gorgeous!! I'd love to visit Montreal!

  11. Very different to the East End's Mile End, but just love it. Fantastic murals and I want one of those bagels for my breakfast this morning!


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