Ahhh, springtime!

This past Saturday was an absolutely stunning spring's day; beautiful blue skies, a warm(-ish) breeze, trees starting to bud and people coming out of hibernation.

My wife and I decided to take a break from family Easter festivities and go for a little walk in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, on of the original suburbs on the extreme western tip of Montréal Island. Our stroll took us through the campus of John Abbott College and main street that cuts through the old village.

Almost a country club

Very soon, this will be one hell of a shade tree

Let the weeping begin

The willows

This is promising

This is promising

When you just have to get that shot

His & hers

The Toys of Summer


Accept no substitutes

Montréal's Fairmount Bagel Bakery (on Fairmount Avenue, of course) is a nonstop, 24x7x365 operation.

I've visited this place on weekdays, weekends, late at night, the middle of the afternoon, you name it... there is ALWAYS someone rolling bagels accompanied by someone putting them in or taking them out of the wood-fired oven.

If you visit, look carefully at the front door. You'll notice that there isn't a lock nor even a latch on the door; there's no way to secure the place. I suppose that if you operate 24x7x365 there's just no need to lock up, ever!

Your money is safe with us

Once upon a time, banks used to build their main branches to be impressive, imposing structures that conveyed one simple message:

Your money is safe with us

Or perhaps it was:

We have lots more money than you do

Regardless of the message they were conveying--or how it was interpreted--these buildings were palaces and temples to lucre.

Here's the lobby of the old Bank of Montréal headquarters and main branch at Place d'Armes in Old Montréal, built in 1847. This building predates Canada by 20 years.

Wham! Hits you like a ton of bricks when you walk in. Unless you're a captain of industry or a robber baron, you probably can't help but feel impressed when walking into this joint.

I'd like to make a $10 withdrawal, please.

Columns R Us

And these places were always more impressive on the inside than from the outside. Not too shabby, but nothing like the inside.

Read more about the old Bank of Montréal HQ here.


Tasse toé!!

In a blizzard in Montréal, it's usually a good idea to stay indoors: take the Métro, walk the Underground City, stay at the office, stay home, whatever.

Being outdoors can be downright hazardous to your health: the snow-covered streets mean cars can't stop in time, the sidewalks are slippery, or you might even get run over by one of these things - like I almost did.

PS: "Tasse toé" is the phonetic joual (idiomatic Montréal street French) for "tasse toi" (typical Québecois French) which loosely translates to "move over" or more likely "get the hell out of the way!"