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Found 34 results

  1. Couldn't find any info online, but the last remaining nuns moved out March 2013. This CANDEV sign popped up over the weekend.
  2. THE WHIPPET: QUEBECKERS' CLASSIC COOKIE Montreal's industrial foundations - built on chocolatey marshmallow goodness PETER RAKOBOWCHUK The Canadian Press October 31, 2007 MONTREAL -- Apopular cookie that's still being gobbled up by Quebeckers today is being given some of the credit for helping to launch the industrial growth of Montreal. The decadent Whippet cookie, a chocolate-coated, marshmallow-topped treat, is more than a century old. Housed in its familiar gold- and chocolate-coloured box, the Whippet made its debut in 1901 and the rest, as they say, is cookie history. The Whippet and Viau Biscuits Corp., the company that made it, are featured in an exhibition at the Écomusée du fier monde, a small museum in the city's east end. Print Edition - Section Front Museum director René Binette says the Whippet was launched when the founder of the company tested it at a hockey game. "People at the game liked it so much that it confirmed to Charles-Théodore Viau that he was on to a good thing," Mr. Binette said in an interview. The cookie, first introduced as the Empire, was considered a luxury item and its sales helped Mr. Viau to expand the company's operations. But Mr. Binette said the cost of vanilla and chocolate also put the Empire out of reach of the average Quebecker. So in 1927, Mr. Viau decided to change the recipe and the name and created the more affordable Whippet. Mr. Viau started the enterprise in a small bakery in Montreal's east end in 1867 and created the Village cookie - a plain, but hugely popular shortbread that Quebeckers loved to dunk in their tea. He continued to expand the business until his cookie and candy factory became one of the area's major employers. Part of Montreal even became known as Viauville, and a church in the neighbourhood was named St-Clément de Viauville. One cookie lover tells the story of his parents buying several boxes and being warned by them not to touch the treats because they were destined for "Whippet-starved" relatives in Ontario. Viau became history in March, 2004, when the company was sold to Kitchener, Ont.-based Dare Foods Inc., another family-owned business, and the factory was closed. But Whippets are still being produced under the Dare banner at the company's plant in St-Lambert, south of Montreal. A Dare spokeswoman says the company markets the Viva Puff, a similar cookie, in Ontario. The Quebec Whippet has "real" chocolate while its counterpart is made with a "compound" chocolate. Contrary to what many Quebec cookie lovers may think, the popular Oreo sandwich cookie has not been around as long as the Whippet. A spokeswoman for Kraft Foods Inc. says it was only introduced in Canada in 1949, although the Oreo was launched in the United States in 1912. The Viau factory has now been converted into a condominium complex that has been appropriately named La Biscuiterie, the cookie factory. Aficionados can visit the Viau: Cookie History exhibition at the Écomusée du fier monde until March 23, 2008.
  3. Quebec destined to stay Canadian: poll Only one-third of Quebec residents believe province will become a country RANDY BOSWELL, Canwest News Service Published: 4 hours ago A new nationwide poll suggests that a strong majority of Canadians - including most of the country's French-speaking population - believes Quebec is "destined" to remain part of Canada. The survey, commissioned by the Montreal-based Association for Canadian Studies, also revealed that barely one-third of Quebec residents believe the province is "destined to become a country" of its own. Conducted in May by Léger Marketing, the survey of 1,500 Canadians probed their "gut feelings" about Quebec's ultimate fate as a political entity, says ACS executive director Jack Jedwab. He also says the results suggest the limited appeal of the historical narrative long promoted by Quebec separatists - that "accidents of history," such as the British victory in the Seven Years' War, have merely delayed Quebec's inevitable emergence as an independent state. Instead, Jedwab says, most Canadians, including Quebecers, appear to find the classic federalist storyline - which emphasizes inexorable progress toward reconciliation of the French-English conflict at the heart of Canadian history - more compelling. A persuasive narrative that predicts a nation's destiny can exert a powerful influence on people's perceptions of history, contemporary politics and the future direction of a country, Jedwab says. He points to the influence of the "Manifest Destiny" doctrine in shaping the 19th-century expansion of the United States and certain strongly held views about its place in the world. Similarly, he says, views in Canada about whether Quebec's future is "pre-determined" by history play a significant role in the long-running debate about its place in the federation, with separatists and federalists alike claiming that "history is on their side." Jedwab notes that in the latest poll, the percentage of Quebec residents who envision a separate Quebec in the near or distant future "closely corresponds" to the proportion of the population that supports Quebec's separation. The findings, he says, may therefore represent "what people are wishing for" as much as what they expect to happen to Quebec one day. The poll was conducted from May 21 to 25. Just over 1,500 Canadians 18 years of age and over were surveyed, with a margin of error of 2.9 per cent 19 times out of 20. Those questioned were asked if they agreed or disagreed with the statements "Quebec is destined to remain part of Canada" and "Quebec is destined to become a country." Seventy-one per cent of English-speaking respondents and 78 per cent of allophones - those whose first language is neither French nor English - agreed that Quebec will remain part of Confederation. Fifty-four per cent of French-Canadian respondents agreed. Regionally, respondents from Ontario (79 per cent) and Alberta (76 per cent) were most likely to agree that Quebec's destiny is within a united Canada. Majorities from the Maritimes (65 per cent), B.C. (64 per cent), Manitoba/Saskatchewan (62 per cent) and Quebec itself (54 per cent) also agreed. Asked more directly if Quebec is "destined to become a country," just 38 per cent of French Canadians, 12 per cent of English-Canadian respondents and three per cent of allophones agreed that it would. Regionally, a minority of respondents from Quebec (35 per cent), the Maritimes (17 per cent), B.C. (13 per cent), Ontario (8 per cent), Alberta (7 per cent) and Manitoba/Saskatchewan (4 per cent) agreed that Quebec is destined to become a country. http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=5395da71-1e74-4242-ba29-a647cc45a477 ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Souveraineté - Le Québec est toujours aussi divisé Alexandre Shields Édition du lundi 23 juin 2008 Mots clés : Confédération, Souveraineté, Sondage, Canada (Pays), Québec (province) À la veille de la Fête nationale des Québécois, un coup de sonde réalisé pour le compte de l'Association des études canadiennes vient confirmer qu'ils sont toujours aussi divisés sur la question de la souveraineté. En effet, si le tiers d'entre eux estiment que leur province deviendra un jour un pays, à peine plus de la moitié croient que le Québec restera au sein de la Confédération, selon le document obtenu par Le Devoir. Les résultats de ce sondage effectué dans tout le pays montrent que 38 % des francophones sont convaincus que «le Québec est destiné à devenir un pays», dont 35 % de Québécois. Chez les anglophones, ce chiffre chute à 12 %, puis à 3 % chez les allophones. À l'inverse, 69 % des Canadiens sont d'avis que «le Québec est destiné à demeurer au sein du Canada», dont 54 % des francophones. Les répondants de toutes les catégories d'âges jugent que le Québec est «destiné» à demeurer au sein de la Confédération, exception faite des 18-24 ans, qui adhèrent à cette idée dans une proportion de 46 %. Malgré cela, à peine 19 % de ces derniers croient que la province accédera un jour à l'indépendance. Il faut toutefois souligner qu'il s'agit là de l'opinion des jeunes de l'ensemble du pays, et non seulement de celle des Québécois. Plus on avance en âge, plus les citoyens sont d'avis que la seule région francophone demeurera partie prenante de l'État canadien. Par ailleurs, la moitié des répondants québécois ont jugé que «sans le Québec, il n'y aurait pas de Canada», ce qui représente la plus forte proportion au pays. Albertains et Ontariens suivent, adhérant à cette idée respectivement à 45 % et 41 %. La moyenne nationale se situe à 42 %. Les jeunes semblent plus fortement préoccupés par cet aspect de la question de la souveraineté, puisque que 53 % des répondants de 25 à 34 ans croient que le Canada ne pourrait continuer d'exister sans le Québec. «Les réponses sont particulièrement intéressantes à la lumière de l'argument avancé par les souverainistes voulant que le Canada continuerait d'exister si le Québec le quittait, une idée défendue par les autres Canadiens, mais non par les Québécois», souligne d'ailleurs le directeur exécutif de l'Association des études canadiennes, Jack Jedwab, dans le document qui sera rendu public aujourd'hui. Le coup de sonde a été mené par la firme Léger Marketing auprès de 1507 Canadiens de 18 ans et plus, entre le 21 et le 25 mai 2008. La marge d'erreur est de 2,9 %, 19 fois sur 20. http://www.ledevoir.com/2008/06/23/195107.html
  4. La succursale va fermer. C'est incroyable. On dirait presque un canular. Perte immense pour le patrimoine de Montréal... *** Royal Bank abandons historic 360 St. Jacques building June 23, 2010. 1:57 pm • Section: Metropolitan News The Royal Bank of Canada is closing its historic branch in Old Montreal, in what was once the tallest building in the British Empire and the bank’s head office. The image above, from Google Earth, shows the building (in the middle, foreground) and the skyscrapers that followed it. The bank has more on the history of the Montreal landmark here and here. And check out this city of Montreal history. This story appeared in the Granby Leader-Times on March 4, 1927: http://blogs.montrealgazette.com/2010/06/23/royal-bank-abandons-historic-360-st-jacques-building/
  5. Its a video montage of Montreal and its history. Qwiki
  6. Bronfman’s famous relatives fled the city long ago Macleans : Martin Patriquin There are a couple of reasons why Stephen Bronfman seems to be smiling more than usual these days. Having failed in his bid to purchase the Montreal Canadiens last year, the eldest child of billionaire Charles Bronfman got quite a consolation prize by luring the Habs’ former president Pierre Boivin to Claridge Inc., the private investment firm the 47-year-old has run for 15 years. Scoring Boivin, who will serve as Claridge’s president and CEO, is a coup for the small investment house: as one of Quebec’s most respected business minds, he was reportedly courted by some of the biggest companies in the province. Mostly, though, Stephen Bronfman is decidedly optimistic about the future of Montreal—which, coming from a Bronfman, is good news for the city. Though the family made their name and much of their fortune in Quebec through liquor behemoth Seagram’s, practically all of the members of the sprawling Bronfman family tree have left. The reason represents a familiar narrative in Quebec’s history: the province’s political upheaval, beginning with the election of the Parti Québécois in 1976, caused a monumental flight of capital, mostly to Toronto. This included Stephen’s cousins Peter and Edward, who departed shortly after selling off their ownership of les Canadiens in 1978. Stephen’s father Charles debarked for New York, while American cousin Edgar Jr.’s disastrous reign as head of Seagram’s is the stuff of dubious legend. Throughout it all, Stephen Bronfman has mostly stayed put in Montreal. “I guess I’m a bit more of a traditionalist, and very proud to be the last man standing, so to speak,” he says from his downtown office. “There’s a sense of history, tradition, pride of being third-generation Bronfman in Montreal.” Bronfman joined Claridge, the boutique investment firm started by his father, in 1991; four years later he negotiated a deal to buy Labatt’s broadcast assets; the ensuing company was sold to CTV in 1999, nearly doubling Claridge’s initial $45-million investment. That same year, Bronfman joined a group of investors attempting to keep the Expos in Montreal. One of Claridge’s recent successes was investing in SunOpta, an Ontario-based and publicly traded purveyor of organic foods. Claridge’s initial investment was $2 million in 2001; SunOpta’s sales have since grown sixfold to nearly $900 million in 2010. Canadian Business magazine deemed SunOpta stock to be the best cash-flow generator of 2010. Claridge has two new major construction projects in Montreal—Les Bassins du Nouveau Havre, a 2,000-unit housing development on 23 acres bordering the Lachine Canal, and Le Seville, a $120-million housing and retail development plunked down into what has been a decrepit void of western Ste. Catherine Street. The 450-unit development wasn’t without its hiccups: namely, a plan to bring organic grocer Whole Foods to the site fell through. “I think they got nervous about the climate, about doing business in a predominantly French market,” Bronfman says. These investments aren’t happenstance; as Bronfman notes, Montreal’s real estate market is doing quite well. Last year saw a nine per cent increase in housing sales volume, according to the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board. The city’s GDP, meanwhile, has increased by roughly 20 per cent since 2000—nothing flashy, but without the drastic dips faced by many North American cities recently. Bronfman’s decision to stay in Montreal through thick and thin has had a positive effect on the city’s anglophone community in particular, says McGill business professor Karl Moore. “The Bronfmans have a storied history here, and it’s encouraging to Anglo Montrealers that he’s stayed close to his roots here,” he says. “It’s good for the community, and suggests we should do the same.” As a smaller and private investment firm, Bronfman says Claridge is well-positioned to reap the benefits of Quebec’s peculiar business climate: the wariness to search out funding from big, out-of-province firms. “There’s always a bit of trepidation with local business people,” he says. “They’ve invested their life and their emotion into their business and they don’t want to have someone strip out their management just for the almighty dollar. We’ve won out a few deals where we’ve beaten multinationals by buying, say, a food business, maybe paid a little less, but the entrepreneur is much happier to do business with a local family office than a large corporation.” But what of Quebec’s old (but ever-present) political ghosts? After all, unpopular as it may be right now, the question of Quebec sovereignty remains a stubborn constant. Regardless, Bronfman is staying put. “That’s the nature of the beast,” he says of Montreal. “There’s always going to be ups and downs. It’s what makes Quebec an exciting place to live.”
  7. GDS

    Port Royal 1965

    Out of History - A pace setting venture - Port Royal Condo Montreal 1965
  8. Via The Gazette Lachine Canal was once Canada’s industrial heartland BY PEGGY CURRAN THE GAZETTE MAY 16, 2014 As midnight approached on New Year’s Eve, mothers and fathers in St-Henri, Little Burgundy and Point-St-Charles opened their doors to let in the roar of neighbouring factories. At Redpath Sugar, Belding Corticelli, Stelco, Dominion Textile and Northern Electric, on passing CN trains and freight barges, horns honked and whistles blew to welcome another year in southwest Montreal. For St-Henri natives Suzanne Lefebvre and Thérèse Bourdeau-Dionne, the clarion call is one of those “mysterious and fascinating” memories that pull them back to childhood and the traditions of a time not so very long ago when the neighbourhoods bordering the Lachine Canal were Canada’s industrial heartland. Today, construction cranes dominate the landscape as long dormant factories are converted into luxury condominiums. The canal, upstaged in 1959 with the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, has become a rambling waterfront park dotted with walkways and bike paths, a favourite of pleasure boaters and urban fishermen. Every year, more traces of the area’s working-class origins vanish. “This whole zone along the canal is an area of tremendous change,” says Steven High, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Oral History at Concordia University. “Of course, that brings controversy. For the working-class neighbourhoods of Point-St-Charles, Little Burgundy and St-Henri, there are a lot of questions.” Two years ago, High and the team at the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling began interviewing about 50 people who grew up, lived, or worked in the area — the first phase in a major project examining local history and the consequences of post-industrial transformation in the working-class neighbourhoods that flank the canal. The first phase of their research, prepared in conjunction with Parks Canada, features an audio walking tour that allows users to listen to some of those stories as they loop back and forth on a winding 2.5-kilometre trail between Atwater Market and the Saint Gabriel Locks. “The canal was the industrial heart of Canada,” High said during a recent tour. “When the factories started closing when they built the Seaway, this became redundant. So what do you do with this thing? It had a slow death from ’59 to about ’72. They finally closed it. They opened up all the gates and it became basically a big ditch that was a dumping ground for all the factories that were still here.” After debating several options — including a plan to fill in the canal and build another highway — Ottawa handed over control to Parks Canada, which reopened the canal for small vessels and built cycle paths, paving the way for gentrification. “We are looking at the loss of jobs and the old industrial story, but also the subsequent story of rebirth and change, and what that means to the neighbourhoods around the canal,” High said. “The population of the southwest was cut in half between 1960 and 1991. You see how dramatic the change was here and how quickly jobs were lost and factories were closed. It didn’t help that the government was demolishing neighbourhoods, whether it was Little Burgundy for public housing, or making way for the Bonaventure and Ville-Marie Expressways.” Speaking in their own words, some residents recall forbidden joys, such as a furtive swim in the canal or “tours de pont,” which involved jumping on the Charlevoix Bridge as it swung in half to make way for a passing boat. For others, memories are painful. One man who reflects on the racism experienced by black families in Little Burgundy unable to secure work at the factories in their backyard. Then there’s the chilling tale of the prolonged labour conflict at the Robin Hood Flour Mill in summer 1977, where eight unarmed strikers were shot. A man hired as a replacement worker during the eight-month dispute describes the daily journey into the plant by train. Security guards with the physique of wrestlers wore fingerless gloves packed with brass knuckles. “It was an important moment in Canadian labour history,” High said, standing beside the train tracks just beyond the fence surrounding the Robin Hood plant. “Out of that confrontation, we had the first law in North America against replacement workers — the so-called anti-scab law.” While the audio guide is available with narration in English or French, a decision was made to use the oral testimonials in both languages. “People speak in their own language. So when we walk into Little Burgundy, it is more English, in other parts it is more French.” Interview subjects include a broad cross-section of ages, backgrounds and perspectives. “One of the issues in these kind of tours is that there is often a focus on community — that community is good. But how do you get at these stories that maybe divide people, where you haven’t got consensus? “We tried as much as possible to be true to our interviews, in a sense that people were saying different things. One person would say: ‘I live in this condo and they are making a real contribution.’ Another would say: ‘Those condos have their back to the neighbourhood.’ You get to hear these different voices.” High said the structure of a walking tour adds another dimension. “When you are actually listening on site, you are hearing what was, you are seeing what is — and it ain’t the same thing. There is a friction there. It’s political.” This summer, the Concordia team will venture deeper into Point-St-Charles, Little Burgundy, Griffintown and Goose Village, where they will walk around the neighbourhood with interview subjects. “It is another way to get people to remember. You can remember just by sitting down over a table, but sometimes that is more chronologically organized, more family-based memories. But if you are out in the neighbourhood, it brings out more community stories.” High expects those interviews to form the basis for a second audio tour. Meanwhile, Concordia drama and art history students will be working on companion projects for neighbourhood theatre and visual arts events. As an historian who also happens to live in the Point, High said he is interested in the way people have responded to the dramatic changes that continue to shape these post-industrial districts. “In Point-St-Charles, what we saw was a lot of community mobilization. It is very much associated with community health movements, social economy movements. So there was a lot of mobilization. Whereas in other neighbourhoods, you have community demobilization and fragmentation. I want to know why. Why is it like this here and like this there?” But High is also drawn to the simple, compelling truth of people telling their stories. “Ordinary people live extraordinary lives. We forget that.” To learn more about the canal project, or to download a copy of the audio guide and accompanying booklet, go to http://postindustrialmontreal.ca/audiowalks/canal [email protected] Twitter: peggylcurran © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  9. Works at le Bremner http://cultmontreal.com/2013/05/top-chef-canada-danny-smiles-le-bremner-montreal-chefs-canadian-cuisine/ Danny Smiles in the Le Bremner kitchen. Photo by Dominique Lafond. Danny Smiles is repping Montreal cuisine in this cycle of Top Chef Canada, and as the show hits mid-season, the le Bremner chef is well positioned to take the title, especially after winning last week’s elimination challenge. The challenge was to create Canada’s Next National Dish, with the carrot of a 10 G cash prize for the winner and the stick of two chefs’ elimination from the show. Smiles won the contest with his creation, which he calls the “Coast-to-Coast” roll — a shrimp and crab roll, served in pretzel hot dog bun with maple bacon and a side of house-smoked BBQ chips. The Coast-to-Coast roll. “It was a weird choice that I made, to do seafood. It was 40-something out, and we knew it was going to be hot. We knew it was going to be an outdoor event, and I was just like, I’m ready for the challenge. I wanted to go big or go home,” says Smiles, meaning it literally. “Those are the only options.” Smiles wanted to move beyond the usual signifiers of Canadian-ness — maple, pork and poutine. “That was the whole focus, a new national dish. I wanted to showcase fish. I’m a very fish-oriented chef,” he says, his point proven by the shrimp and albacore tattooed prominently onto one forearm. “There’s not a lot of countries that border two of the biggest oceans in the world, too, so that’s really cool,” he continues. “I used B.C. Dungeness crabs and Nordic shrimp from Quebec,” while the overall concept references an East Coast foodie fad du jour, the lobster roll. Smiles explains that he wanted to create a dish that draws not only on Canada’s geography, but its history as well. “Smoking fish and preserving goes back to First Nations; it’s a huge part of Canadian history,” he says. “I was trying to also come up with a story, something that realistically made sense with the history of our country. I’m a huge history buff, so I decided to go back a bit and readapt that into what I thought would be the new national dish.” Smiles may be following in the footsteps of mentor (and le Bremner’s executive chef) Chuck Hughes, who rose to celebrity chef status after becoming the first Canadian to win the US Top Chef — an increasingly necessary career move for chefs as they emerge from the obscurity of the kitchen and into the limelight of cooking shows, contests and book tours in order to establish themselves. Top Chef Canada made sense to him as a next move, he explains. “I liked the show, and also just wanted to see where I match up to the rest of Canada, almost like a personal challenge.” The best part of doing Top Chef Canada, he admits, is that it actually gives him room for his first love, cooking. “Unfortunately, being a chef, you’re not always focusing on cooking,” he says. “You’re lucky when you get into the kitchen and start cooking. That’s like a bonus, because there’s food costing, there’s menu planning; you’re plumbing, gardening. Those are all fun things that I love about my job, but in a small restaurant, you kind of do everything. And now, for six weeks, your main focus — you’re not contacting anyone, you’re not phoning suppliers; that’s all supplied for you, and you’ve just got to focus on cooking. So it’s like it brought me back to when I first started on the line.” ■ Top Chef Canada airs Monday nights at 9 p.m. ET on Food Network Canada.
  10. Opinion dans la Gazette. Cooper: Can Montreal become a ‘future city?’ BY CELINE COOPER, SPECIAL TO THE GAZETTE APRIL 8, 2013 Revellers at this year’s Nuit Blanche warm up by the fire at Montreal’s Quartier des spectacles. In his new book A History of Future Cities, Daniel Brook writes: “The true city of the future is not simply the city with the tallest tower or the most stunning skyline but one that is piloted by the diverse, worldly, intelligent people it assembles and forges.” Can Montreal be one of these? Photograph by: Tim Snow , The Gazette MONTREAL — What is Montreal’s place among the world’s future global cities? I recently picked up Daniel Brook’s new book A History of Future Cities. In it, he skilfully braids together historical detail, journalism and storytelling to trace the impossible rise of Shanghai, Dubai, Mumbai and St. Petersburg from developing world “instant-cities” into four of the world’s most influential global hubs. Brook looks at how these cities in China, the United Arab Emirates, India and Russia were forged. His description of how soaring cityscapes were planned and erected out of deserts, frozen marshland, oceans and rice paddies through both the ambition of visionaries and the cruelty of despots gives us some context for the emerging Asian era that we are witnessing today. We learn a bit about how the economic development of the world’s nations has come to be inextricably linked to the development of global cities. So what does this have to do with Montreal? As it happens, I started reading this book about future cities on the same day that a sinkhole swallowed two cars at Montreal’s Trudeau airport. On top of the crumbling bridges, man-eating potholes and mould-infested public schools, there was also news that day about Bill 14, the Parti Québécois’s bid to bolster the province’s language laws and further regulate who can speak what, when and where. Much of this discussion focuses on the fear that Montreal is becoming “anglicized.” Which brings me back to the question: what is Montreal’s place in this new world landscape that is no longer necessarily one of nations, but of cities? For many of us who live here, Montreal occupies a special place on the global grid and in our imaginations. We often think of it as a metropolis that straddles old and new, French and English, Europe and North America. But thankfully Montreal and its inhabitants are much more complex than that. As Columbia University sociologist Saskia Sassen and other scholars who study global cities have argued, cities are where new norms and identities are shaped. Despite the fact that it has been hemorrhaging economic clout since the late 1970s and the 1980s, and that its infrastructure is falling apart at the seams, Montreal remains an inspiring, dynamic city. Montreal’s creativity — its colourful population and the ideas they bring to life — is without a doubt the city’s greatest asset. And yet while other urban hubs are leveraging their cultural and linguistic diversity to build intellectual and economic corridors that connect them to the rest of the world, here in Quebec we are told (by our government, no less) that Montreal’s diversity is not an asset but a problem to be managed. There is too much pasta and caffè in our restaurants. Our artists are composing songs in the wrong languages. Our children are learning too much English in the classroom. These things must be regulated with new bills, laws and decrees. It reminds me of a line by urban thinker and activist Jane Jacobs in her book The Death and Life of Great American Cities, published in 1961. Jacobs wrote: “There is a quality even meaner than outright ugliness or disorder, and this meaner quality is the dishonest mask of pretended order, achieved by ignoring or suppressing the real order that is struggling to exist and to be served.” And so it is. A History of Future Cities attests to the fact that a built urban environment is important. Dazzling feats of engineering, architectural brilliance, skylines of human-made steel and glass stalagmites are meant to be both inspiring and functional, a draw for the world’s financially and intellectually ambitious people. But one of the most compelling lines in the book — and the one that resonated with me as I pondered Montreal’s future in the world — was this: “The true city of the future is not simply the city with the tallest tower or the most stunning skyline but one that is piloted by the diverse, worldly, intelligent people it assembles and forges.” In other words, a fancy cityscape matters, but the people who live there matter more. For Quebec to succeed as it moves into the future — whether as a sovereign country or as part of the Canadian federation — it needs Montreal to thrive. Montreal’s place among future global cities will depend on not only attracting the world’s best and brightest, but allowing them the freedom to be diverse, to be themselves, and to be brilliant. [email protected] Twitter: @CooperCeline © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette Original source article: Cooper: Can Montreal become a ‘future city?’ Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/Celine+Cooper+Montreal+become+future+city/8202375/story.html#ixzz2Puw40uY7
  11. Visiting the past: Montreal's historic heart Web Exclusive By Chris MillikanChilliwack Times Monday, February 11, 2008 CREDIT: Montreal's old city hall. Chris Millikan photo.History buffs love sauntering along old Montreal's cobbled European-style streets, or wandering her public squares surrounded by grand cathedrals, historic homes and museums. My hubby Rick and I recently joined the curious throng and probed this cosmopolitan city's earliest days. At Musee Pointe-a-Calliere's theatre, a multi-media journey through six centuries kicks off our exploration of Montreal's birthplace between the St. Lawrence and Little St. Pierre Rivers. This innovative three-storey archaeological museum rises sleekly above the original townsite where Paul de Chomedey and 35 French colonists settled in 1642. A stroll through Fort Ville-Marie's subterranean remains reveals traces of the early palisade, first Catholic cemetery, base of the old customs square - even the sights and sounds of a lively market day, circa 1750. And from the third floor open-air lookout, we view panoramic Vieux-Port's busy quayside, nowadays a landscaped 2.5-kilometre linear park complete with flowers, sparkling water fountains and pools. Nearby, Place Royale (now Place d'Youville) developed later atop Little Saint-Pierre River. Here a soaring granite obelisk recalls those plucky settlers beginning new lives on this strategic point of land at the foot of Mount Royal. Two blocks away, an old fire station encloses the Centre d'Histoire de Montreal, a small but charming museum reflecting city history through stories of celebrated personalities. Northward along Rue St-Jacques, the sparkling Trade Centre dwarfs sober financial institutions left from Montreal's early financial Wall Street days, notably the Bank of Montreal, Canada's oldest bank, and the New York Life building, once North America's tallest skyscraper at 10 storeys. Nearby we encounter Cath,drale Marie-Reine-du-Monde, whose unexpected grandeur resembles Saint Peter's in Rome. But here, patron saints of parishes grace the facade. And elaborate interiors reflect new world history, except for the marble altar canopy imitating Bernini's work in St Peter's. In the distance we spot McCord Museum, permanently chronicling Canada's momentous past in McGill University's oldest part. In Place d'Armes, a central monument commemorates Montreal's founders. But the magnificent Basilique de Notre-Dame dominates this historic square, her spectacular interiors sculpted in wood and gold leaf. Inspiring stained glass windows illustrate biblical passages as well as parish history. And for over two centuries, seigneurs resided next door at St-Sulpice Seminary, still topped by a clock from 1701. Stretching from Vieux-Port to Rue Notre-Dame, fine 19th-century townhouses and mansions surround Place-Jacques Cartier. Though Admiral Nelson's monument towers over this cobbled square, it carries the French explorer's name. Once a large public market, Victorian streetlamps, tubs of red and yellow flowers, buskers and artists now create a lively ambience in this hillside square, day and night. Along with locals and hordes of others, we toast Old Port's panoramas from beneath flamboyant red awnings at one of its many sidewalk cafes. At the top of the plaza, Hotel-de-Ville outshines a sombre cluster of early courthouses. From the grand balcony of this City Hall, French President General Charles de Gaulle once shouted, "Vive le Quebec libre!" causing quite a stir during his 1967 visit. Behind, we find remnants of the wall that once stretched three kilometres around old town. Across the street, Chateau de Ramezay awaits; attendants in ruffled blue dresses, white aprons and poke bonnets greet us. Built in 1705 for Montreal's governor, 15 connecting rooms housed his family of 16 children. With remarkable 17th-century artifacts and furnishings this stone, peak-roofed mansion exemplifies the gracious lifestyle of its esteemed residents. Behind the house we wander the French-style Governor's Garden, tranquil and fragrant. Inspired by gardens at Versailles, this spot replicates former seigneurial gardens flourishing with fruit trees, flowers, vegetables and medicinal plants - but on a much smaller scale. "Then, everyone had gardens; large ones like this covered nearly two-thirds of the old fortified town," explains the gardener, harvesting pungent chives, young carrots and emerald sprigs of parsley. Within blocks, dramatized audiotapes guide us through another 19th-century residence. Fashions and authentically restored, lavishly furnished interiors allow peeks into Sir George Etienne-Cartier's influential life and glitzy high society of his day. Fondly remembered as a Father of Canadian Confederation, his considerable achievements also included creation of Quebec's civil code and development of the Grand Trunk Railroad, all documented in his faithfully restored office. Looping back, we pass La Maison Pierre du Calvet from 1725, possibly the most photographed of all the heritage houses. Currently a first rate inn and restaurant, striking wine-red doors and window frames contrast with massive grey rock walls, chimneys and steeply sloped roof. The original homeowner collaborated with rebels during the American Revolution, holding clandestine meetings here with Ben Franklin, an envoy sent in 1775-76. In the same neighborhood - and fondly nicknamed the Sailor's Church - Montreal's oldest chapel is immortalized in Leonard Cohen's Suzanne. Notre-Dame-de-bon-Secours has been a place of pilgrimage since 1665. Mariners believed the 10-metre rooftop Virgin Mary and her glorious angels safeguarded them at sea; some donated tiny ships in appreciation, many of which we notice hanging in the chapel. Up 92 winding steps, we gaze over old town and harbor. Adjacent Ecole Bonsecours school was replaced with a small museum chronicling first teacher Marguerite Bourgeoy's life. A leisurely walk westward takes us past silver-domed Marche Bonsecours, Montreal's major agricultural market for over a century. Restored for its 150th anniversary, her long 100,000-square-foot limestone building has been re-established as a modern marketplace featuring specialty shops, exhibitions and sidewalk cafes. By strolling Montreal's historic streets and acquainting ourselves with early personalities, we traced the development of this little French fur-trading town into today's happening metropolis. Travel Editor Vic Foster's guest this week is freelance travel writer Chris Millikan, who lives in North Delta. Travel the world on the Internet at www.travelingtales.com. http://www.canada.com/components/print.aspx?id=94057656-f1c5-4904-ba64-09fcd08d6d56&k=89562
  12. ¡Cuba! Art and History from 1868 to Today in Montreal, Canada Thanks to the involvement of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and the Fototeca de Cuba, and the collaboration of many collectors and museums in the United States, including the MoMA, this exhibition will draw a broad panorama of Cuban art and history. ¡Cuba! Art and History from 1868 to Today, which brings together some 400 works of art, will be the first exhibition to showcase the art of this Caribbean island, which Christopher Columbus described as “the most beautiful land eyes have ever seen.” This lively and well-conceived multidisciplinary exhibition will bring together about one hundred paintings, including a huge collective mural produced in 1967 by many artists, two hundred photographs and documents, approximately one hundred works on paper (in particular two collections of pre- and post-1959-Revolution posters), some two hundred photographs and documents, installations and videos, in addition to music and film excerpts. Exhibition Summary - This ambitious exhibition will feature the art of Cuba, an island that has witnessed the twentieth-century’s principal historical events (decolonization, the search for a national identity, wars of independence and the Revolution, the building of political utopias and ideological clashes). Located at the crossroads of Old Europe and the New World, Cuba is a rich cultural terrain: its music and literature are well known outside of the country, but the same cannot be said of its visual arts. The exhibition is divided into five sections: Depicting Cuba: Finding Ways to Express a Nation (1868-1927); Arte Nuevo: The Avant-garde and the Re-creation of Identity (1927-1938); Cubanness: Affirming a Cuban Style (1938-1959); Within the Revolution, Everything, Against the Revolution, Nothing (1959-1979); The Revolution and Me: The Individual Within History (1980-2007). The exhibition’s historical narrative will be told through a selection of significant photographs: from those that have never been shown to the iconic, these pictures will illustrate the chronology of events as recorded by remarkable photographers. Within this account will be images illustrating the major chapters in the history of Cuban art, from the nineteenth-century’s wars of independence through to the uncertainties of the future. Throughout the twentieth century, artists engaged in international discourses sought to define a national identity, Cubanidad. Intermingling a re-examination of its colonialist past and openness to the avant-garde, Cuban artists created a profoundly original art of synthesis (Baroque and academic legacies, Spanish and African roots, Catholic and traditional spirituality). Central to the century and the exhibition, with the presentation of twenty paintings, the landmark work of Wifredo Lam will embody this synthesis. At times a vehicle for collective political action and at times a personal expression vis-à-vis history, Cuban art deals with matters pertaining to a sense of place and the role of the artist in society, issues that outstanding contemporary artists continue to explore in relevant ways. The Curators - The exhibition is organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Art (MMFA) in collaboration with the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (MNBA) and the Fototeca de Cuba, Havana. Nathalie Bondil, director of the MMFA, is the general curator of the exhibition, in collaboration with Moraima Clavijo Colom, director of the MNBA, and Lourdes Socarrás, director of the Fototeca de Cuba. The curatorial committee also includes Hortensia Montero Méndez, curator of Cuban art, MNBA; Luz Merino Acosta, technical director, MNBA; Rufino del Valle, curator, Fototeca de Cuba; Iliana Cepero, associate curator, MNBA; Stéphane Aquin, curator of contemporary art, MMFA; and the team of curators of the MNBA. The Catalogue - Under the general editorship of Nathalie Bondil, a 370-page catalogue will be produced by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ Publishing Department. This book, which will include some 450 colour illustrations, is the first publication covering the whole history of Cuban art. It will provide essays by Cuban and international specialists on various aspects of the subject and some 140 biographical notes. It will be published in separate French, English and Spanish editions. Sponsors - In Montreal, the exhibition is presented by Sun Life Financial, in collaboration with METRO. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts wishes to thank Cubana and media partners La Presse and The Gazette. Its gratitude also extends to Quebec’s Ministère de la Culture et des Communications for its ongoing support. The Museum would like to thank the Volunteer Association of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts for its invaluable support. It would also like to thank all its Friends and the many corporations, foundations and people who support its mission. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ International Exhibition Programme receives financial support from the Exhibition Fund of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Foundation and the Paul G. Desmarais Fund.
  13. Un petit truc que je n'avais pas vu venir, mais très intéressant pour la ville (je ne savais pas où mettre ça. Alors j'ai choisi le thread "complétés"): http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/quebec/mcgill-gets-the-gift-of-time/article1729241/
  14. (Courtesy of The Guardian UK) I wonder if anyone from the PQ or BQ heard or read about this Probably not seeing they dislike the English language. So I guess Canadian / Quebec history is safe for now, until one of them comes out of their narrow-minded shell and sees this
  15. When heritage is a rebuke By MARIAN SCOTT, The Gazette November 6, 2010 Yvon Lamothe, former maintenance foreman at St. Julien Hospital, says the vast building where many Duplessis orphans lived and suffered is a landmark that should be saved. Yvon Lamothe cho kes up with emotion when he talks about the vast mental hospital that has loomed over this lakeside village for 138 years. "We had certificates for being the cleanest hospital in Quebec. The hallways shone like a mirror," says Lamothe, 69, a former maintenance foreman at St. Julien Hospital, 200 kilometres east of Montreal, near Thetford Mines. In its heyday from 1940-1970, as many as 1,500 mental patients lived in the red brick asylum that stretches the length of three football fields along the main street. Now, the village of 2,000 is facing a future without the landmark, which closed in 2003. In the next few weeks, the Quebec government will issue a call for tenders to strip out asbestos and demolish the sprawling complex, including a 500-seat auditorium and chapel featuring multi-coloured interior brickwork, hand-forged copper medallions and soaring stained-glass windows. "You can't tear down this building," says Lamothe, who knows every inch of the sprawling complex built between 1917 and 1953 by the Sisters of Charity of Quebec. A previous structure dating to 1872 burned down in 1916. "This is a source of pride in a small place like here," he says. "You could have housing in this building. You could have a university." But Alice Quinton, 72, a patient at St. Julien Hospital from age seven to 23, welcomes the prospect of seeing it demolished. Quinton, who entered the hospital in 1945, was one of thousands of normal children falsely diagnosed as mentally retarded and confined to mental institutions under the reign of Premier Maurice Duplessis from 1936 to 1939 and 1944 to 1959. Advocates for the Duplessis orphans say doctors and religious orders helped perpetrate the fraud to collect federal subsidies for their care. Quinton endured beatings, being tied to metal bedsprings for weeks at a time and given anti-psychotic medications in the hospital for mentally-retarded women. "We were marked for life," says Quinton, now a 72-year-old grandmother in Longueuil whose ordeal is chronicled in a 1991 book by Pauline Gill that brought the orphans' plight to public attention, Les enfants de Duplessis (Editions Libre Expression). In 2004, Quinton received $27,575 under a $58.7-million program to compensate 3,191 Duplessis orphans who endured abuse in mental hospitals and orphanages. But nothing can make up for stolen childhoods in institutions where electroshock, beatings and solitary confinement were routinely meted out as punishment, says Quinton. "That hospital was a curse," she says. But Rod Vienneau of Joliette, a tireless advocate for the Duplessis orphans, suggested that tearing down the hospital will not help their cause. "Once it is torn down and they build apartment blocks, nobody will remember," says Vienneau, who would rather see the building remain as a monument to the orphans. The debate over St. Julien Hospital illustrates how, half a century after Duplessis's death, Quebecers remain conflicted over the legacy of an era when Roman Catholic orders took charge of education, health care and social services. For some, the nuns and brothers who founded schools, orphanages, hospitals and other institutions in every corner of the province were unpaid heroes who succoured society's rejects: the poor, homeless, sick and disabled. For others, they were the foot soldiers of a politico-religious hierarchy that jealously guarded its privileges and punished those who strayed -notably, unwed mothers and their babies. Wherever one stands on that controversy, many people would just as soon erasethememoryof placeslikeSt. Julien Hospital. "I'm very attached to heritage," says Andre Garant, 64, a retired history teacher and prolific author on the history of the neighbouring Beauce region. "But personally, if a building like St. Ferdinand disappears from the map, it wouldn't bother me. It's a black page in the history of Quebec." In 1872, six nuns from the Sisters of Charity of Quebec arrivedinthehamletof St. Ferdinand at the invitation of the local cure, Julien Bernier. They founded a hospice and girls' school, and within a year, 20 patients with intellectual disabilities -then considered an illness -were on their way from the overcrowded provincial asylum in Beauport. By the 1940s, nearly 1,000 patients filled St. Julien's 84-bed dormitories, each overseen by one or two nuns. J.P. Lamontagne, a tall, stern family doctor who practised in St. Ferdinand for 60 years, was medical director at the hospital, which had no psychiatrist. On June 6, 1937, a school bus deposited eight-year-old Albertine Allard at St. Julien. She would not see the outside world again until she was nearly 40. "When I got there, I cried and cried. I shed a lot of tears. After that, I got used to it," says Allard, 82, who now lives with two other former patients in a pleasant foster home overlooking Lake William. Allard believes she was born in Quebec City but doesn't know who her parents were or where they came from. "It was tough at the beginning. If you were bad, they put you in a cell to calm your nerves. I'll tell you the truth, Madame. I was very naughty. You can write that down." Allard's brown eyes dance as she recalls how she and some other children shut a hospital worker in a cupboard. But they become sombre when she remembers the punishments for misbehaving. "There are things we don't like to talk about," says Allard. "I was tied to some springs. No mattress. And then they put a bucket under the springs." Tied on their backs on coil bedsprings, their arms wrapped in a straitjacket, inmates urinated and defecated on the bed. Meals consisted of gruel administered by spoon. The punishment lasted a week or more. "When you get out of there, you have no more courage to play tricks," Allard says. Despite such horrors, she is not bitter. "Sometimes the nuns had to be strict because we were pretty rough," she says. "But I appreciated the nuns because they taught us to work. If we learned to work, it was thanks to them." Those inmates who were able to work scrubbed and waxed floors, darned garments, knit slippers and fed and washed other patients who were unable to care for themselves. Allard sewed mattresses from recycled felt hats, helped out in the electroshock room by helping to hold down subjects and bathed dead bodies. "I told myself, a dead person is less mean than one who's alive," says Allard, demonstrating how she was taught to glue corpses' eyes shut by inserting a folded piece of newspaper under the eyelid. But Myriam Kelly, 77, remains bitter over the abuse she suffered at St. Julien, including electroshock, injections of anti-psychotic drugs, beatings with chains, solitary confinement and ice-water baths followed by beatings with a scrubbing brush. Born to an anglophone family in Quebec City, Kelly lost most of her English after her mother placed her in an orphanage at age three. At six, she was transferred to St. Ferdinand until she was released at age 21 in 1954. "My mother was Protestant, so I came from the devil," says Kelly, the youngest of 12 children whose father died when she was two. Once, she heard a nun batter a small child to death for crying. "I was really martyred," said Kelly, now a Drummondville resident who recounts her sufferings in a book, Memoire desertee (deserted memory), written with Ginette Girard (Feuille-T-on, 2003). In his 2002 memoir Docteur et citoyen (Boreale), late Quebec cabinet minister Denis Lazure, who died in 2008, recalled his days as a young psychiatrist in Quebec asylums where generous use of tranquillizers, straitjackets, isolation cells and electroshock without medication were routine. Doctors injected patients with insulin to induce diabetic comas, from which some never awoke, Lazure wrote. During the Quiet Revolution in the 1960s, lay staff replaced nuns in key positions and employment boomed. When Luc Allaire became a cook at the hospital in 1960, about 150 employees, including 60 nuns, cared for more than 1,400 patients. Within 20 years, the ration of workers to patients had risen to nearly one-on-one. High-functioning patients, like Allard, moved out to rooms in the village but returned to the hospital every day to work and take part in activities. "We were like savages when we left the hospital," says Allard. "People didn't accept us, because they knew we came from St. Julien Hospital. We were the crazies." A 1984 wildcat strike by 717 orderlies caused bitter tensions and a successful class-action suit against the strikers on behalf of patients. The re-drawing of administrative regions in 1993 amputated most of the territory the hospital had formerly served, says Jacques Faucher, 66, a retired social worker who was in charge of deinstitutionalization at the hospital from 1973-1993. "Circumstances worked against us," he says. Patients were transferred to foster homes and other facilities in Thetford Mines and Victoriaville, and the hospital emptied. "When the ministry said the hospital no longer has a health-care vocation, I think they signed the death warrant for the hospital," says Faucher. Behind its low stone wall topped by a wrought iron fence, St. Julien Hospital looks as if it could spring to life at a moment's notice. "You could move in tomorrow," says Annmarie Adams, William C. Macdonald professor of architecture at McGill University. The hospital's monumental facade reads like an inventory of Quebec architecture, Adams notes, from the 1917 convent with its silver cupola at one end to the streamlined 1953 hospital wing at the other. "I think it's a fabulous illustration of the changing history of hospital design in the 20th century. You can almost read it as a timeline from the '20s through to the '50s," Adams says. Razing St. Julien Hospital would be a wasteful blunder, says Adams, who notes that many former asylums elsewhere in North America and in Europe have been recycled as condos, colleges, seniors' complexes and hotels. St. Julien Hospital is in near-perfect condition, Adams notes, in contrast to many of those structures, such as Buffalo's Richardson Olmsted Complex, a former state asylum. "It's like yanking the heart out of the town," Adams said of the demolition plan. But Danielle Dussault, a spokesperson for the Corporation d'hebergement du Quebec (CHQ), the real-estate arm of the province's health and social services ministry, said the agency was unable to find a qualified buyer when it advertised the building in 2008. The government was prepared to give the building away for a dollar if the buyer assumed all costs related to upkeep and was entirely self-financing, she says. "Just the cost of heating and maintaining it is $1.2 million a year -and it's empty," says Dussault. She would not provide estimates on the cost of the multimillion-dollar demolition, which will be spread over three years. Filmmaker Serge Gagne wasamongagroupof St. Ferdinand residents who submitted a bid to acquire the former hospital in 2008. The Cooperative de developpement local de St. Ferdinand (COSODE-LO) proposed to convert the property for housing, cultural activities, a rural research centre and greenhouses. "This is a jewel for the village," says Gagne, who bemoaned that municipal and provincial politicians did little to save the building. "The COSODELO was a social project that would have benefitted people here." The CHQ rejected the proposal from because the project would have required government subsidies. In the rear of the hospital, row after row of grim, caged balconies and a prison-like catwalk stare out over a fenced pool and playground with rusting swings. A peeling summer pavilion strikes a mournful note under a lowering sky. "All is sadness. The vibrations are very powerful," says Andre Bourassa, president of the Quebec Order of Architects and a longtime advocate for saving the hospital. "It is a major social point of reference, a (former) local industry and an architectural landmark," says Bourassa. Negative associations with the Duplessis era are one reason buildings like St. Julien Hospital are underappreciated, says Tania Martin, a Canada Research Chair in Built Religious Heritage and associate professor at of architecture at Universite Laval. "It's the backlash of the Quiet Revolution," she says. Martin says it is senseless to sacrifice the hospital, which is ideal for a large institution like a university or for other purposes like housing or a hotel. "Can't we be more imaginative? Is there a need that this building can respond to?" she asks. "If we're going to look at it from the point of view of sustainable development, the greenest building is the one that is already built," Martin adds. Gagne continues to hope for an 11th-hour reprieve. "Here in Quebec, we say, 'Je me souviens,' but we demolish everything. "This is a witness to our history. To destroy it would be to eliminate part of our history and we don't have the right." [email protected] © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/When+heritage+rebuke/3786992/story.html#ixzz14XcJ84E3
  16. Au moins mous sommes pas numéro un. http://jalopnik.com/the-ten-most-wasteful-transportation-projects-in-modern-472052244?utm_source=lifehacker.com&utm_medium=recirculation&utm_campaign=recirculation 4.) Montreal's Airport That's Larger Than Montreal Montreal-Mirabel airport was designed for the Montreal Olympics and it did that job very well. After the Olympics, however, Montreal realized they'd built an airport that was 397 square kilometers in size, bigger than the entire city it served. Now it's mostly empty.
  17. (Courtesy of Pointe-à-Callière, the Montréal Museum of History and Archaeology) :goodvibes:
  18. (Courtesy of The Montreal Gazette) Great read. I was wondering what was going on. Time to bring the Capital of Canada back to Montreal and make the Capital of Quebec in Montreal! As Obama said "Yes, we can!"
  19. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/03/arts/design/03darc.html?_r=3&oref=slogin&ref=arts&pagewanted=print February 3, 2008 Art It’s Not Politics. It’s Just Cuba. By DAVID D’ARCY IMAGES of boats and the horizon are a relative constant in Cuban art. For Cubans they’re often an expression of longing for life beyond a geographically and politically enclosed space. For the rare Americans who ever see Cuban art, the images can be a reminder of a place they are forbidden to visit. For the next five months, witnessing at least one aspect of Cuba will in theory be a bit easier for Americans. “¡Cuba! Art and History from 1868 to Today,” an exhibition that just opened at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, offers more than 400 images and objects from the island that Christopher Columbus is said to have called “the most beautiful land that eyes have ever seen.” Many of the paintings were lent by the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana with encouragement from Cuban officials who want to promote the notion of Cuban culture, said Moraima Clavijo Colom, the museum director. “That Cuba was not just a place of sun, beaches, rum and dancing,” she said in a telephone interview. It may seem provocative to dangle this forbidden fruit near the border of the United States, whose citizens can face fines for traveling to Cuba under the latest version of a 46-year-old trade embargo. But Nathalie Bondil, the director of the Montreal museum and the curator of the exhibition, said: “It’s not a political show. It’s just a show.” She declined to speculate on whether any museum in the United States could cooperate legally on such a scale with a comparable Cuban institution. “It’s not a question,” she said. “Canada is a different country.” Canada is one of Cuba’s most important trading partners, and Canadians make up the largest group of tourists who visit Cuba, she said, “so Cuba is an obvious partner for us.” Still, given Cuba’s history, any exhibition of work produced there seems to become a show about Cuba and Cuban identity. The date of 1868 was anything but arbitrary, Ms. Bondil noted: it was the year in which Cubans in the town of Bayamo first declared independence from Spain. And by including “art and history” in the exhibition title, the curators also signal that the subject of much Cuban art is Cuba and Cubans. “Cuban art cannot escape the necessary negotiation with the historical situation in which it occurs — that seems to be the defining element,” said Stéphane Aquin, the Montreal curator who selected the works made after 1959. “The best that I’ve seen of Cuban art is always negotiating its space or reacting to its historical condition.” Like any survey of art and history in a Western country, this one rolls through landscape painting, portraiture and genre scenes, beginning with folkloric images of Afro-Cuban rural life. (Slavery was not banned in Cuba until 1888.) Yet two mediums help to set Cuba and this exhibition apart from other marches through history. Photographers have documented Cuban life since the middle of the 19th century, and some 200 photographs lent by the Fototeca de Cuba in Havana guide visitors from the 1860s to the present. Among them are Walker Evans’s grim images of Havana street life, included in Carleton Beals’s 1933 book, “The Crime of Cuba,” a lament for ordinary people living under the dictatorship of Gerardo Machado y Morales (1925-1933). There are also abundant images from an inventive graphic arts industry that advertised to a growing consumer population in the 1920s and 1930s, deploying the new vocabularies of Modernism and Surrealism. Cuba’s vibrant poster culture was so strong that it survived the transition to one-party Communism after Fidel Castro’s takeover in 1959. Yet if there is a star to be celebrated in this show, it is not Mr. Castro but Wifredo Lam, born in 1902 of Chinese and Afro-Cuban parents. He traveled to Europe to study art in 1923, joined André Breton’s Surrealist circle, fought in the Spanish Civil War and painted in a Surrealist style that caught Picasso’s eye with its use of African imagery, which resembled forms that Picasso borrowed earlier in the century. Picasso was much quoted as saying: “He’s got the right. He’s a Negro.” Back in Cuba in 1942 as a refugee from the Nazis, Lam caught the eye of Alfred H. Barr Jr., director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Although Lam steered clear of Barr’s 1944 exhibition “Modern Painters of Cuba” for fear of being labeled a “Cuban painter” — he showed at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York instead — MoMA acquired Lam’s large 1943 canvas “The Jungle,” a thicket of vegetal fronds and human-animal figures in dark greens, now considered his masterpiece. MoMA is not lending “The Jungle” for the show because of its fragility but contributed “Mother and Child II” (1939), one of 14 paintings by Lam on view. Lam’s family, one of the largest holders of his works, did not lend pictures to the exhibition. Reached by telephone at his home in Paris, Lam’s son Eskil, 46, said that Ms. Bondil sought his advice on the exhibition but no loans. He said that he had not read the exhibition catalog, which includes two essays on his father and another on a collective mural that his father played a role in conceiving and painting. He chuckled at the title of one essay, “Lam: A Visual Arts Manifesto for the Third World.” “It’s always complicated with Cuba,” he said. “With Cuba there’s always an ideological supervision. I wouldn’t say control, but supervision. They want to make sure that what is being said, or the message put forth in a foreign exhibition, doesn’t go against today’s Cuba.” “My father supported the revolution when it took place,” Mr. Lam noted, adding, “I would say that my father was a humanist more than anything else, and that his participation in or his enthusiasm for the Cuban Revolution was definitely one from the 1960s, for a movement of emancipation of liberation more than as an ideological communist venture.” Lam remains the through-line of the Montreal show, even though he left Cuba in 1946 and never lived there full time again. The exhibition’s centerpiece is “Cuba Colectiva,” a gigantic 1967 mural on six panels that was initially conceived by Lam and created by 100 Cuban and European artists for the Salon de Mai, an annual exhibition. Although artists were making “collective works” in the United States and Europe at the time, often in protest of the Vietnam War, this mural was a tribute to a romantic view of Cuban Socialism that inspired many Europeans artists at the time. The huge mural traveled the following year from Cuba to France, where curators said it was taken off display after a few hours to avoid damage in the May 1968 student uprising. Back in Havana, it was eventually placed in storage. When the museum was emptied in 1999 for renovation, the mural and its frame were found to have been invaded by termites. Without money to restore it, the Cubans found a Parisian dealer to underwrite the job, and the mural is being shown for the first time outside Cuba since its conservation. Like the mural, much Cuban art since 1959 has been in the service of the Castro regime, either in Socialist-Realist styles through the 1970s (when Russians taught in art academies there) or in a Pop Art style adapted to official portraiture of figures like Mr. Castro and Che Guevara. “It’s a Pop form of vocabulary — the flashy colors, the bright letters, said Mr. Aquin of the Montreal museum. “They were taking the Pop aesthetic and functionalizing it.” Less functional ideologically are works made by contemporary artists who are beginning to find markets abroad after years during which their only client was the state. In the 1980s and ’90s, as Soviet aid dried up, art materials were particularly scarce, and mixed-media artists like Alexis Leyva (Kcho) and the duo, Los Carpinteros ( all represented in the Montreal show) constructed work from whatever they could scavenge. It was a new Cuban hybridization: a mix of found objects and Arte Povera. “I bought a sculpture, and I asked the artist if he could put it in bubble wrap for me,” said Howard Farber, an American collector. “He didn’t know what I was talking about.” While most Cuban artists struggle, some are thriving, like Carlos Garaicoa, who takes photographs of empty sites where buildings once stood in Havana and then constructs the former structures in delicate thread atop the pictures. Mr. Garaicoa, 40, has had solo exhibitions in the United States that included his large installations of sculptural urban ensembles — he calls them “utopian cities” — but he has not been granted a visa to enter the country. One of his clusters is the final installation in the Montreal museum’s show. Mr. Garaicoa’s dealer, Lea Freid of Lombard-Freid Projects, suggested that this softly illuminated city in miniature could be an image of a place awaiting Cubans one day after the death of Mr. Castro, or after the end of the United States embargo. She said it was no surprise that Mr. Garaicoa’s work is celebrated in Montreal. “I think there is a connection, an affection and an ongoing relationship on all levels that doesn’t occur here,” she said. Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company
  20. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/quebec/mcgill-gets-the-gift-of-time/article1729241/
  21. The Montreal Technoparc Montreal, Quebec The master plan for the Montreal Technoparc has been designed with respect of the individual needs of each research entreprise and a provision for interrelations and conviviality between the different companies who will reside there. This concept has been expressed by placing the buildings along a central mall, facing the public space with private areas behind each building. This design includes the development of guidelines for buildings, circulation corridors as well as landscape elements. The central public space for this "high tech" campus includes a fountain integrating a unique water feature with a flame, inspired from past history of the site.
  22. The Movement presented by AT&T, hosted by former MLS forward Calen Carr, is a new series from MLS Digital that explores the growing soccer movement and soccer culture in North America In Episode 1, Carr visits Montreal to learn about the city’s unique culture and history — on and off the field. Music: ROWJAY “KUNG FUN MARGIELA" A TRAPPIN APE SOUNDCLOUD.COM/ROWJAYCOB Special Thanks Impact Media Pat Vallee Jordano Aguzzi Yvan Delia-Lavictoire
  23. Took the 55 bus north on St-Laurent yesterday. I was shocked to see dozens of boarded up store fronts on the east side of the street between Sherbrooke and Mont-Royal. This is so much worse that I have ever seen in over 20 years! So sad and depressing. How could we let this happen? Go see for yourself. Take a walk on the Main. If anyone wants to record and share the images here, I'm sure you will be shocked too. Here's something I just saw in CULT-MTL on same subject, although IMO the situation is much more serious than the tone in the piece. http://cultmontreal.com/2013/04/st-laurent-montreal-main/ St-Laurent has seen better days There are few greater, simpler pleasures in this town than walking along the Main on a crisp spring afternoon. But given how dire things are looking for Montreal’s multicultural microcosm, I’m not looking forward to doing it this year with my usual enthusiasm. For years, pedestrians had to deal with all the interminable construction, and while many of us courageously traversed those rickety planks masquerading as sidewalks, the street never really recovered from those trying times. Businesses have been shuttering left and right (I weep for BBQ Rocky’s — where I’ll get smokes and watch soaps now I don’t know), so in an effort to make the abyss more enticing to prospective entrepreneurs, the St-Laurent Merchants’ Association is spending $30,000 to dress up the growing number of empty storefronts. Of course, it’s akin to trying to stop the bleeding from a gunshot wound with a few dabs of a wet nap, or more specifically it’s a modern take on Potemkin Village. The obvious, sad truth is that, given how gradual the Main’s depreciation has been, it’s going to take more than a few fancy snapshots to revitalize the area. It’s not a bad idea, per se, because mushy newspapers certainly don’t make for good window shopping, but saving the Main will require progressive thinking. There are plenty of cooler streets around town these days, and history isn’t much of a selling point, even when it’s engraved on ergonomically unfavourable benches. Some streets just never get their groove back: St-Laurent merchants need only look to their cross-street brother Prince Arthur if they want a harrowing look into their future. There’s a municipal election coming up later this year, so perhaps it’s high time that the supposedly “clean” party — the one that rules over the Plateau with a sanctimonious wag and aspires to expand their empire — prove they’re good at something besides pointing out how bloated and corrupt their political rivals are. And if they don’t have any solutions, either, maybe they can just hike parking rates by another buck or two. That’ll help. ■
  24. Westmount needs you! With this mailing, we are appealing to your civic duty. We need your input on the most important project the City of Westmount has put forward in its long history: the rebuilding of the Westmount arena and pool. Council would like to proceed with this project, but only if a majority of taxpayers is behind it. It is your money, after all, that will help pay for it. I shall not pretend that the history of this rebuilding project so far has been a smooth one. Mind you, nor was the struggle to restore and expand the Westmount Library in the 1990s, but it was a project most citizens became very proud of. Your Council feels this same success can be repeated with the arena/pool project. But only if it is a rallying point and not a focus of division and rancour. There were two separate designs suggested for the arena/pool project by the previous Council during 2009. A great deal of work went into these proposals, but they received mixed reviews in a series of public meetings. The whole of Westmount, however, was never canvassed. The new Council, since its election in November 2009, has been working on ways to address the objections raised by citizens to the prior proposals. Objectors fell into two broad camps: people in the neighbourhood saw the new arena as a massive intrusion, a wall 30 feet high by 500 feet long from St Catherine Street to de Maisonneuve, jutting into Westmount Park; meanwhile, the pool itself ate up precious green space. For the rest of Westmount, concerns had more to do with the cost: do we really need to go from one-and-one-half to two rinks? Why can’t we just fix up the existing arena? Others felt we needed an indoor pool more than a replication of our current sports mix. The cost concerns were substantially mitigated by the crowning achievement of my predecessor Mayor Karin Marks: she managed, by dint of incredible perseverance - and the help of Jacques Chagnon, our local MNA - to get $20 million of infrastructure grants for the project. It is Canada’s and Quebec’s contribution that allows us to build a $37 million arena/pool complex that will cost Westmounters $17 million. In fact, the cost to taxpayers will probably be closer to $12 million, thanks to contributions from Westmount schools, foundations, and private donors. This cost translates into an additional $200 a year in taxes for the average single-family dwelling. What about the neighbours and the sheer bulk of the arena? Well, if we had to describe the essence of our city, we would surely be torn between invoking Westmount’s unique architectural heritage and Westmount’s prized greenspace. This Council wants a project that respects both. We want the park to win the battle between it and the arena. We do not wish to plunk a massive piece of architecture down in an established greenspace. So we have gone underground. Council’s plan is to bury the ice rinks, putting tennis courts and grass on top of them - creating the ultimate green roof. Skylights will bring in natural light. Only the entrance pavilion and Teen Centre will be above-ground. more pics and full desc. http://www.westmount.org/pdf_files/ArenaPool_Proposal.pdf