Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Six days in Montreal

Last week I treated myself to six days in Montreal. While there was a time when I visited the city two or three times a month,(during EXPO67 and while with CMHC) this was my first trip in 18 years when my daughter was studying at McGill.
While much had changed, many areas seemed very much like the way they were when I was last there.

This trip was prompted by my first annual golf tournament of the Canadian Seniors Golf Association, an organization I was invited to join earlier in the year. You can learn more about the CSGA here: http://www.thecsga.ca/ The tournament was played at the Royal Montreal Golf Club, the oldest golf club in North America, and Beaconsfield Golf Club, which dates back to 1903. They were both beautiful courses with very impressive clubhouses.
The dress code at Royal Montreal may have changed, but the sense of history remains
Royal Montreal Clubhouse from the 9th fairway
Beaconsfield Golf Course club house.
A sense of history permeates the Royal Montreal club house
Dinner at the Canadian Seniors Golf Association annual tournament is a formal, but delightful affair. Not quite men's night at the local club!
Prior to the tournament I spent a few days in the city. I stayed at what was once the Opus Hotel developed by my friend John Evans a number of years ago. Today it is the Hotel 10 and occupies a very good location at Sherbrooke and St. Laurent. It has a nice vibe and I can recommend it, although there is a night club below so you may want a quiet room facing the other direction.

I spent Saturday looking at old and new housing developments including Tour des Canadiens, an impressive and sophisticated new complex being developed by Canderel in concert with Cadillac Fairview and the Montreal Canadiens.
An older version of the Montreal maisonette
A new version of the maisonette, still under construction. If you want truly affordable housing, you may have to accept these very simple types of structures.
I can't help but think many of the city's traditional housing forms, including the maisonettes with their exterior staircases should be built in Vancouver.

There were a number of other sights around the city that could be transferred to Vancouver which I wrote about in this week's Vancouver Courier column. You can find it in a subsequent post.

No visit to Montreal is complete without a trip to the Jewish delicatessens. While I was a bit disappointed with Wilensky's, made famous by Mordechai Richler in the Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, I thoroughly enjoyed a meal at Schwartz's. Here are a few more images from around the city.
Perhaps a bit too much, but I still prefer this to the 49th and Cambie Canada Line station.
Window installations celebrate jazz musicians, as part of the Montreal Jazz Festival
Buildings can make attractive canvases at night!
One of many attractive landscaped streetscapes around the city.
Tour des Canadiens features a large Montreal Canadiens logo on top. I was impressed by the amount of construction activity in the downtown.
An attractive built-in dining arrangement in one of the smaller Canderel units.
The YUL project, being developed by a Chinese developer in Montreal. How long before someone builds a YVR project in Vancouver?

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