Monday, March 31, 2008

Inside one of those brand new buses

Today again I had the pleasure to step in one of those new buses ( I am not sure if they are really new, or simply that my route number ( 80 ) didn't get to be deserved by those new buses before ), anyway, they look brand new. As you can see inside one this bus still not every passenger could have a seat, but at least everybody was able to come inside. 

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Jeanne Mance

Here is a photo of the statue of Jeanne Mance. She was the first nurse in New France, and she founded the hospital Hotel-Dieu on October 8th, 1645. This statue stand in the middle of the parking lot's entrance of the hospital. 

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Musée des Hospitalières de l'Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal

What a long name for a museum. Located at the corner of Des Pins and St-Urbain, this museum provides insight into the history of medicine in the city's early days. Th museum takes a look back at the physicians, nurses and apothecaries who made their quests to comfort the sick. From long forgotten treatments to the important discoveries made throughout history; from the foundation of a nursing school to the nationalization of health care services, the history of medicine in Quebec is unfolded in this museum located within the hospital itself. To get some more information, check this link

Friday, March 28, 2008

New buses for the STM,

Today I was surprised to see one of those stretch buses picking me up at the subway station ( since it was raining, I took the bus ). Usually it's a normal bus and we're all packed inside. In some cases I've seen people not able to step inside the bus because it was simply full, what a shame. Anyway, this problem now seems to be solved. Also I could see some improvement in the technology of those buses, among them was a big light on top of each door lightening the steps, and adigital speedometer for the driver. I'm sorry for the quality of the picture, but once I got off, the bus left right away. Alain, this post is for you !

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Voie De Passage Ne Pas S'Attarder

It means, "way to go, but don't take too long". I took this shot on Parc Avenue near the McGill dormitory. Basically, it means that it's not safe to walk underneath. It's the first time I see such sign, usually there is nothing written because it is supposed to be safe to walk underneath a construction site.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


As I was walking today to go to the library, I saw this student, waiting for somebody probably on the campus of Concordia University. I thought it was strange the way he/she was waiting. Everybody walking by was looking at him/her, so I thought I'll take a picture to show you.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Old Building

I am not sure that many of you will like this building, but I just thought that the colors and the design of the stair to access the second floor was good. I took this picture near Notre Dame de Grace.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Université de Montréal

The University of Montreal, located at the northern part of Montreal, first opened its doors on January 6th, 1878 where less than a hundred students were registered. This french speaking university is one among the fours others universities in Montreal. The University was hit hard by the Depression of the 1930s. Construction halted for a decade, and the university almost closed its doors. It survived this dark period, however, in 1943, the University inaugurated its new campus, 15 years after construction had first began. I took this picture from Saint Joseph's Oratory yesterday where there is a good view of the northern part of the city of Montreal. 

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Saint Joseph's Oratory

This Oratory, located on the northern slope of Mont Royal in Montreal has a history of more than a hundred years old. Originally, a small chapel, on the side of the mountain near Notre Dame College, it became too small. In 1924, the construction of the basilica was inaugurated. It was finally completed in 1967. The Oratory's dome is the second largest of its kind in the world after Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome. This church is the largest in Canada. To see more pictures of this amazing building, Click Here.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Loyola Chapel

The Loyola Chapel of Concordia University has been built in 1913. When the campus first opened in 1916, the student chapel was housed in the east wing basement of the Junior or High School Building ( now the Psychology Building). Since the merger of Loyola and Sir George Williams in 1974 to create Concordia University, the chapel has been an ecumenical place of worship in witch services from many different religions, and other events, have taken place. It is also popular as a wedding site for the Concordia community. The inside is made of wood makes it an unusual church.

Friday, March 21, 2008


I took this shot on Rue Ste Famille, that ends up on the hospital Hôtel-Dieu. I like this street with gorgeous antiques houses on it. It's still cold in Montreal with -11C ( felt like -21C) expected for tomorrow. I hope that most of you enjoyed your Easter weekend, and spent it somewhere hot.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Smart !

As I was walking along St Catherine Street to go to class, I saw this Smart car. There is just enough space for a Smart between those two conventional size cars. It's the second Smart car I actually see since I am in Montreal. It's in Vancouver and Vancouver island that the sales are strongest in Canada. Mercedes-Benz Canada officially launches the smart brand in Canada on October 4th, 2004. It's only in the beginning of 2008 that they were launched on the other side of the border; in the United States. As you can see on this photo, it was snowing this morning, and it's supposed to snow the whole weekend. We are almost at the end of March, and there is still snowing; I find it amazing !

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Shuttle Bus #2

Here is an other shuttle bus from Concordia University. I believe they have four maybe five of them. A blue one (I took a picture of it couple weeks ago, click here to see it), a yellow one ( this one ), a white one and finally a gray one. I like the way they have been decorated with some pictures of the university one it. Today was raining and snowing over Montreal, and I've heard that it get lots of rain during the spring season. I thought before arriving here that it was not usually raining a lot on the west coast, but apparently I Was wrong. I start to see couple comments from some of my readers on my blog. I just wanted to thank them because it makes me happy to read it (promise I'll reply back !).

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


On this picture you can see the IRCM (Institut de Recherche Cliniques de Montreal) located at the corner of Des Pins and St Urbain Streets. Here is a little bit of history about this building. It begins in 1951 when Jacques Genest, a canadian physician and scientist wanted Quebec's medicine to be a combination of clinical skills and have a knowledge in biochemistry, molecular biology, electronics and nuclear medicine. He thought there were enough hospitals for the city of Montreal, however the city needed a research facility. In 1952, he was offered a research department position of Hôtel-Dieu hospital in Montreal by the director general of the hospital, sister Marie-Louise Allard. This research department, called IRCM was built right across of the Hôtel-Dieu hospital.

In 1967, when the IRCM obtained its affiliation with the Université de Montréal. At the time of the agreement between the Université de Montréal and the Institute, André Barbeau, a French Canadian neurologist, set up his neurobiology lab at the Institute, along with a research team that had established a solid reputation working at the university since 1961. The team would achieve great distinction, mainly for its work on Parkinson’s disease.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Saint Patrick's Day !

McKibbins Irish Pub, located on Bishop Street, right next to Concordia University, was the place to go to in order to enjoy a real Irish pub on St Patrick's Day. There was a big parade yesterday in Montreal on St Catherine Street, with plenty of people gathering to see it. The longest-running Saint Patrick's Day parade in Canada occurs each year in Montreal. The parades have been held in continuity since 1824; however, St. Patrick's Day itself has been celebrated in Montreal as far back as 1759 by Irish soldiers in the Montreal Garrison following the British conquest of New France. The McKibbins Irish Pub is a historic and sandstone mansion built in 1904 by one of Canada's most brilliant surgeons, Dr. Frank Richardson England (1862-1942) and his wife, Grace Octavia Richie (1868-1948), the first woman to receive a degree in medicine in Quebec from McGill University in 1888. Today was packed of students, and I bet some of them were ditching school.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


This is one of the two Chinatown in Montreal. Located on La Gauchetière Street, it occupies roughly the area of a city block. A newer Chinatown is located south of Montreal Island in Brossard. Compared to the Chinatowns in Toronto and Vancouver, where the shops tend to close early, Montreal's Chinatown remains a vibrant nightspot for locals and tourists alike thanks to a special regulation by Montreal's city officials which slates the sector as a tourist area, thus allowing it to continue operations well into the evening. Almost any kind of Asian food is available, from Cantonese seafood to Vietnamese Pho restaurants, everything is featured in this Chinatown.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Pâtisserie Harmonie

This is the name of this pastries store in Chinatown. Inside you can find different kinds of pastries, I was close to buy some, but the bus ( route 55 for those of you that are interested ) was coming so I had to leave. I could remember a warm and sweet smell of bread cooking in the back. You also get different varieties of cakes, cheese cakes, and other Asian cakes but I'm not sure what they are made of. Anyway I could see those 3 kids coming out with a bag full of delicious pastries. Next time I'm in the area, I'll get some for sure.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Still Removing Some Snow

Well, it's now been a week since the last big storm, and you still get to see those snow trucks driving in town loaded with tons of snow. Those guys are well coordinated, first they move the snow off the sidewalks, then, the tractor transfers it into constantly incoming trucks. Once a truck is loaded, there is one behind ready to take over. Also, as I was watching it for a little while, I could see that the coordination between the driver of the truck and the driver of the tractor is well synchronize. The trucks is moving slightly faster than the tractor in order to get the snow evenly spread inside the truck. The city of Montreal spends more than $128 million Canadian dollars each year to remove it. With guys working around the clock 7 days a week, it is estimated that Canada spends $1 billion on snow removal each year. I remember that some cities in Europe sometimes had to pay to bring snow onto their slopes just to make tourist happy, here they have to pay to get rid of it. It's funny how this world is made....

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tow Trucks

A tow truck towing an other tow truck. Hum... it's not very often you get to see something like that. Usually it's got a wrecked car in the back. I used to get my car towed quite a few times when I was living in Seattle, WA. It most cases it was for not paying the parking out on the street. I was so mad at those tow truckers (no offense to the two truckers readers) , thinking it was the worst job ever. Come one, there is nothing wrong parking your car for just few minutes on a street not crowded at all. I don't bother anybody, there are plenty of other parking spots empty. And after that you have to pay for the cab, then pay to get your car back, and finally pay the ticket that was on your windshield. Anyway, I was just hopping that one day something like that would happen to those tow trucks divers, well, looks like my wish came true.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Quebecois are really proud of their heritage. Being the only french speaking province in north america, they are surrounded by this English invader trying to conquer the entire country. With a little bit less than 80% of the Quebec population having French as their mother language in 2006, this number keeps decreasing, especially on the island of Montreal. According to the "Office québécois de la langue française" (OQLF), the aging of the french speaking population as well as their low fecundity explains this decrease. Moreover, we can see more and more English speakers from the western provinces that migrate to Quebec, especially to Montreal, and keep English as their language. The worst of them are persons like me who's mother language is French, but speak it only 10% in here. Anyway, as time goes by, I try to use it more often.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hard Rock Cafe

Yesterday night as I was coming back home, I thought I'll take a walk in the downtown instead of taking as usual the subway. On a Tuesday night, the streets were quiet, and not many people were outside. I guess they were all stuck in front of a tv set in a bar or at home supporting the Habs against the New Jersey Devils. A good thing is that the Canadiens won 4-0.
What a pleasure it was to talk along
the Crescent Street; with all those bars and restaurants in the middle of an antique atmosphere. Among them was the famous Hard Rock Cafe. (Once I was looking over my pictures back home, I thought this one looked like a face, with the two eyes made by the lamps ) Built in the early 1900's, the sky-lit, stained-glass home of Montreal's Hard Rock Cafe is located only minutes away from the city's famous "Old Montreal" district. In a town sharply divided by old and new, the East End and the West End, the French and the English, it's refreshing to find a sense of peaceful unity in the world-famous Hard Rock Cafe.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Rusting Bottle

Is this an old rusting Coca Cola bottle ? I am not sure. This bottle stands on the roof of and old and probably abandoned warehouse close to the Bell Center, home of the Habs. I don't know what it's said on this bottle, the only four letters I can read are "TEED". With the cold out there, I didn't want to walk on the other side of that warehouse. I already had to climb on top of one of those snow hills made by the snow removing machines to get a clear shot of that bottle and I managed to get my feet wet when I came back down. Moreover my camera stopped working right after I took this shot, I don't know if it was the battery (I don't think so, I've recharged it 2 days ago) or if it was the cold temperatures but hopefully it will be working again tomorrow.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

After the Storm

Well, after digging around to find out more about that 1970-1971 record, I found the record to be 381cm of snow for that winter. Before yesterday's storm, we were at 320cm. This was the 8th storm we've had this year, and the city has already spent their 2008 snow removal budget. I guess one more storm and that will be the new record. Now it's time to take the shovels out and remove the snow in front of your door steps, and around your cars just like this couple on the picture. It's hard to believe that in 3 months it'll be 30 degrees outside !

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Snow Storm

With a massive storm roaring across all eastern half of Canada, today was not the right day to go outside. With hundreds of flights delays and cancellation in Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa, this storm is considered as a memorable one. Originating in Texas where it gathered moisture in the Gulf of Mexico, it made it's way across the United States and arrived now in Canada where the lower pressure causes high winds of more that 100km/h. According to Dave Phillips of Environment Canada, as of the morning of the 8th of March, is but a measly 60cm from breaking that 70-71 snowfall record. To see some more pictures that I took of the snow storm above Montreal, click here.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Antique building

This antique building sits alongside Ste-Catherine Street, and offers spaces for office rent in one of the City’s most important commercial arteries.Originally built in in 1932, and renovated in the year 2000, this building gives one more time an antique charm to this city. What I really like about this building are those dark bricks covering the facade, with some gold colored bricks in addition.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Wood curving

Now that the storm is over and the sun is shinning, I finally dare to take my hands out of my pockets and start shooting pictures again. This wood curving piece of art is located on top of the entrance of the Terraza restaurant. It's sad to see a well made curving piece, on top of what seems to be a so so restaurant.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

En Rouge et Noir

This woman decided to dress with the colors of this French song from Jeanne Mas translated in English as " In Red and Black". With the snow storm of today, some people still dared to come to work dressed like that. This woman might have been standing like that for at least 5 minutes. Sometimes I like to look at people around me, just to observe them and wonder what they might be doing there. In this case, I believe that they are two teachers maybe sharing common thoughts about a subject or some student, who knows ...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Maestro SVP

This is the name of this seafood restaurant located on St Laurent Boulevard is well known for its oyster menu. Serving fresh oyster all year round, it's got over fifteen different types of oysters and it also throws in a free lesson on how to shuck it. While I was shooting those pictures, the waiter told me that most of these signatures were from French stars that came all the way here to eat oysters. This caught my eye when I walked by today as it's not so common to see a display made of oysters like this one. To see some pictures of the inside, click here.

Monday, March 3, 2008

St James the Apostle

This door shows the front of this church. Couple days ago I posted a picture of this church taken from the rear side. When war was declared between England and Germany in August 1914, Canada immediately sprang to help the Empire. Among the first to volunteer were forty-nine members of St. James the Apostle Church. To see some more pictures of the church, click here.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Shed Café

This bar/restaurant, located on St Laurent boulevard, used to look as if the ceiling was caving in. Now it's been transformed into a Gothic dungeon hangout. Appealing to both the after-work and late-night crowds, Shed Café combines a nightlife vibe with cozy café atmosphere. The sunlight that pours in from the bistro’s wide-open entrance illuminates its dark wood interior by day. The entrance also doubles as an inviting street-side terrace, making Shed Cafe an ideal spot for a quick drink or a relaxed dinner atmosphere.

While I was shooting pictures of this spot light on top of the entrance, suddenly a big black guy dressed with a suit opened the door and asked me kindly not to take pictures of this light simply because it was broken. He asked me to wait till they fix it. An old and dark looking place, with this broken spot light on top and the big black guy nicely dressed, this scene looked like if it was coming out of the movie Matrix. At the end, he gave me his card and asked me to check out his facebook profile if I wanted to see some pictures of the spot light before it was broken. Anyway, after reading some reviews of this place, it makes me want to go and check out their menu. For sure I'll post some pictures of the inside.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Stained glass

Those stained glasses belong to the church of St James the Apostle. Located on the corner of Bishop and St. Catherine in the heart of Montreal, it was constructed in the mid 1800s. I took this shot behind the library building in the downtown campus. It's about the only stained glasses we can see from behind the church. Two blocks left of this one, there is the old Bank of Toronto building, then the brand new Concordia's Engineering building. Seems like they alternate between antique and new building on St. Catherine.