Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Good Start of Summer Semester

Today was my first day of school for the summer semester. I decided to arrive a little early ( 8:30) in order to give me time to find my room location. On my way to go there, I walked next to this lady, asleep, in the student lounge. If she was a bit younger, I'll say that she's been partying every day during the break and now she is trying to get some sleep back. Good luck for all of those who went back to class this morning. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Circular Building

Couple days ago I found a great place in Montreal to go groceries shopping. It's called Aubut and it's located on St. Amboise street few blocks behind the Atwater Market. Inside you can get almost everything you need for a restaurant, and for a very low cost. The only bad thing is that you need to get a car to drive back home with your groceries because it's being sold in large quantities. I'll try to go there at least once a week and great all my groceries for the week over there. Tomorrow school starts again for me, so I use this last day of vacation to go out groceries shopping. On the way to go there, I came across this odd looking building, with a circular wall on the east side of the building. I still don't know what this building is used for, but for sure, next time I go there, I'll try to know more about this building.  

Monday, April 28, 2008

View of Downtown from Old Montreal

With those few days left I got to enjoy the sun before starting school, I spend my days walking around the city. On this picture you can see the montreal skyline taken from the Old Montreal right next to the city hall. 

Sunday, April 27, 2008

BAR inc.

BAR inc. is the name of this bar on Mont Royal avenue West. I really like this place, the waiters are nice, the manager is always happy to come and talk to his customers. If you are looking for a quiet little place to drink a beer or enjoy a hockey game, it's a place to go !

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Waiting on his Goldwing

This guy waiting at the corner of Peel and Ste Catherine next to the HMV music store seemed really happy to be on his bike. School will start soon for me again, so I enjoy those last days of vacation going out shopping. Talking about bikes, the Honda Gold Wing is my favorite one. Have a nice weekend everybody !

Friday, April 25, 2008

Hotel de Ville

On this picture you can see the city hall of Sainte Anne de Bellevue, a municipality at the western tip of the Island of Montreal. It had a population of 5, 062 in 1996. This city is the second oldest community in Montreal's West Island, having been founded as a parish in 1703. The oldest one, Dorval, was founded in 1667. It is also home of McGill University's Macdonald Campus, which includes the J. S. Marshall Radar Observatory.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Teen Meeting

I took this shot today as I went to the West Island (in French, l'Ouest de l'île). It is the unofficial name given to the western cities and boroughs of the Island of Montreal. The name probably originated from the geolinguistic division of the island into French and English, with francophones typically inhabiting the eastern portion of the island and anglophones typically inhabiting the western half. The West Island has a multicultural look with modern buildings and country homes side by side. I felt good to go away of the downtown, and enjoy this quiet neighborhood. Those teens meeting on the shores of the St-Laurent river are probably studying at the the John Abbott College, a three years pre university program called CEGEP.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

City of Toronto

Since couple weeks we can see the montreal fire trucks speeding down the street emblazoned with “City of Toronto” insignia. At first I thought the city of Montreal borrowed some trucks from the city of Toronto, since there are more fire during winter here in Quebec, or simply that some guys from the Toronto FD were here on an exchange.
Montreal’s fire fighters have been feeling slighted by the city recently; they have been without a contract for over a year and have received no pay increases unlike their counterparts in Toronto who are seeing increases of almost 10% and already receive larger paycheques than fire fighters in Montreal. Our fire fighters have taken notice and have launched a series of pressure tactics which they hope will embarrass the city into hearing their demands. They’ve used what the Toronto Star calls a “Fightin’ Word” as part of their pressure tactics. The word? The dreaded “Toronto”. Local fire fighters have set aside past tactics of punching holes in fire hoses, tampering with station doors, and locking managers in their offices. This time around, fire trucks have “City of Toronto” banners on the front bumpers and on the ladders, their is also a sticker of each door and on the back of the truck. You can see this sticker left the the truck number "425". Fire fighters are wearing shirts that say “Toronto FD”, and they have even created a new logo reminiscent of the Toronto logo with the Mountain and Olympic Stadium replacing the CN Tower and Toronto skyline (the Toronto crest is copywrited so could not have been used in its original form).
The city, of course, is less than pleased. They have issued bills to the union for the cleanup of the decals and repainting if necessary. The union and the city are still negotiating but little has come from the talks. The city is vowing to hold the line saying it doesn’t have the money to increase pay and that comparing salaries of fire fighters in Montreal to those in Toronto doesn’t make sense as the cost of living in Montreal is so much lower than in Toronto. Fire fighters have little at their disposal to try to force their demands as they are considered an essential service, and are therefore barred from striking.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Live Fast

I really like this advertisement on Guy street. Made of multiple rectangular windows, it brighten up Guy street at night. Yesterday night, the streets of Montreal were the site of much of the rioting following Monday's Habs ( name given to the Montreal Canadien hockey team) win against the Boston Bruins. Some unruly fans stomped on police cars, even setting several cruisers on fire. Others bashed and destroyed storefronts. Rioters damaged 16 police cruisers and 10 downtown buildings.
The game ended at 9:30 pm ET, the violent riots along Ste-Catherine Street didn't begin until about two hours late. I could hear from my apartment style some riots at 3 am the next day. I personally don't understand why people were like that, especially after the Habs won the game.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Montreal Canadiens Vs. Boston Bruins

Tonight, the Montreal Canadiens played their seventh game against the Boston Bruins. The whole city stopped "living". I remember looking through the window during the game, and I couldn't seen anybody outside. The whole population of Montreal ducked into bars, at home with friends, and for the lucky ones at the Bell forum to enjoy the game. By the way, for those of you who didn't know, Montreal won 5-0, making it over for Boston this season. After the game, everybody went crazy outside in the streets, I could hear till 3:00 am people shouting and horning. I could see up in the sky a chopper of the Montreal Police observing from the air.
For those of you who don't know, hockey in Montreal is very important, I think it is considered as a religion. Wherever you go you can see a flags of the Canadiens, cops cars have one on their window, buses have some on their mirrors, and even fire trucks have one on the back.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Tropical Hawaii

This warm place is located on Maisonneuve just few blocks west of Concordia University. Inside you can get some refreshing drinks with the tastes of coconuts, mango, or pineapple and at the same time you can be surrounded by a tropical atmosphere. With the heat out there, I'll definitely check it out. Only one the sand and the sea will be missing.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Free Hugs

This boy was standing at the corner of University and Ste. Catherine streets with this cardboard with written on it "Free Hugs" on one side and in french "Calins Gratuits" on the other side. The "Free Hugs" campaign originated in London with Juan Mann. To read more about this campaign, click here.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Small Chinese Temples

Today I went to the Old Montreal to visit a bit. Last time I went there was in the middle of winter. When I came out of the Place d'Armes subway station, I could see those two little temples on top of a hotel. On the other side of the building you can find the main street "rue de la Gauchetiere Ouest" where most of the asians stores are located. To view this street again, here is a picture I took couple weeks ago.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Dancing in the street

Those two were really funny. I saw them dancing on St Catherine Street today. The guy dressed as Spider Man, was pretending he was controlling the steps of the other guy by throwing some web at him under the intonation of the music. Plenty of people gathered to watch them acting. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Au Québec On Parle Francais

It means " In Quebec we speak french". I took this shot at the corner of Mayor and De Bleury Streets on a display showing the new residential building under construction. Only french was written on the board, so I wonder why he wrote it onto that sign ? Who knows... anyway, I liked the message by itself.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Condos apartment in old church

Today I was supposed to go back to my burned building apartment and get some of my stuff back. Unfortunately I was unable to go inside my apartment, as well as my neighbors. The city of Montreal installed a huge lock on my door. They condemned my apartment. I was so sad not to be able to go back inside and at least try to get something back. Thank you everyone for all your comments. 

On my way back home, I saw those nice condos apartment building in inside an old church close to Park Avenue. Must be nice to live inside, especially for those who live in an apartment in the oldest part of the building.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Doughnut Stand

Now that I moved in my new apartment, I live right next to Concordia University Sir George Williams campus in downtown Montreal. Right next door to my building apartment, I can find the Tim Hortons Doughnuts and coffee place. I find it great to go and eat breakfast before going to class. 

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Reading in the Park

Today was relatively warm outside in Montreal, but a warm jacket was necessary to enjoy this sunny day reading in the Jeanne Mance park. 

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Life is colorful

I took this shot at the corner or Maisonneuve and Guy on the Sir George Williams campus. It gives colors to this beautiful city.

Friday, April 11, 2008

View of Downtown from Atwater

Here is what you can see of downtown Montreal from Atwater. Located west of the downtown, close to the Atwater subway station. This place is very quiet, but apparently not very safe at night. Located only one subway station from Concordia, it's very easy for those living in the city to go there and look for some natural foods. 

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A bread stand in the Atwater Market

Here is a worker arranging the bred to display in the Atwater Market.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A fruit stand in the Atwater Market

The main structure is a long building in north-south axis. On the ground floor, an arcade along the whole east side of the building allows merchants to set up their stalls, protected from rain, and sunlight (too much sunlight is not good for food on display). Inside, the majority of stores is the ones that demands refrigeration system and other electric appliances in order to conduct their business (ex: meat, cheese, sausage, etc). Café and pet shop can also be found among the stores. The west side of the building is designated as the loading area that allows delivery trucks to park near the building without disturbing the customers. What a pleasure to walk by with all those colors and smells. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Les Douceurs du Marche

It's the name of this store located one the first floor of the Atwater Market. Inside you can find plenty of natural products, from the cans, to the drinks, passing by their large quantity of olive oils and vinegars, coffees, etc... . This store looks cozy and warm. Once you step inside, it's just a spectacle for your eyes and nose. 

Monday, April 7, 2008

Atwater Market

Located in St-Henri, near Lachine Canal linear park, Atwater market is accessible by metro (Linonel-Groulx), bus, or private car (a number of parking lots at its proximity). It's one of the few remaining markets of Montreal. Built in 1933, in the middle of the Great Depression, Atwater Market provided working opportunity to hundreds of unemployed people. At a cost of $1 million (in 1933), this long and imposing building replaced the old St-Antoine Market. It was equipped with central refrigeration system and installations permitting use of mechanical instruments, at that time, it was considered by many as a "very modern" facility and the "most beautiful" building of its kind in Montreal.
During the Second World War, the Canadian Army used this facility to store meat for our over-sea soldiers, and part of it was used as training camp for new recruit.
It reminds me of Pike Place Market in Seattle, I recommend this place for those visiting Montreal.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Église Saint-Irénée

This church, located a 3044 rue Delisle, at the corner of Delisle and Atwater Avenue, is dedicated to St Irénée, father of the church. It' s in 1900 that the citizen of Saint-Henri asked for the construction of a church. Construction started in 1903. In 1911 a fire destroyed the church, but in 1912, it's been reconstructed with some original walls.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Cafe Santropol

Located at the corner of Duluth and St Urbain, the coffee place seems very attracting at night, with some candle light on the balcony on top of the building. I've heard that they make wonderful sandwich. Definitely a place to check out.

Friday, April 4, 2008


I am posting this blog on April 4th, 2 days after my building apartment burned down. All the photos you will see form now till Monday 21 th were taken with my camera, unfortunately I didn't had time to post them on my blog. Since I don't want to have a big "hole" in my blog due to this terrible event that happened to me, I decided to complete those missing posts. 

That day, some Concordia University part time teachers and full time teachers were protesting in front of the H building of the Sir George Williams downtown campus after the university decided to decrease the number of Concordia part time teachers.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Thank you everybody for what you did for me, I am touched by everyone’s comments.
Let me explain you what happened to me. 
The fire happened last Wednesday on April 2nd. That day I had my chemistry class. The fire started at 9:40 am (I heard that from the news), but the alarm only went off around 10:30 am. It's only at 10:35 that the police received the first phone call (I learned that the same night in the news too). The alarm lasted only few seconds, and then it stopped. Surprised, I went to look at the window to see if something was happening, but everything seemed to be fine. As I was walking to my bathroom to brush my teeth, I realized the power was out and some black smoke was coming out of the ventilation system. Quickly I opened my door and saw some black smoke in the whole corridor. At that time the fire alarm went off again, this time for good.
I rushed back inside my apartment grabbed the first pair of pants I found and packed up few important  things. First I grabbed my passport, and my visa as well. I also took my school bag, my Swissarmy watch, and my brand new laptop computer. I was surprised not to see anybody else coming out of their apartments. I went back in the corridor, and walked, as close as possible to the ground, where the black smoke was less dense. The stairs were located on the far left side of the building, my apartment was on the far right side, where the elevator is located. Once I arrived to the door of the stairs, I grabbed the door handle and burned my hand ( good for me, few days later the pain was gone leaving no scars). The door handle was so hot that it had to kick the door to open it.  The stairway was filled with a dense black smoke. Later one I’ve heard that the stairway was stuck due to either the dense smoke, or some flames.

I realized that it was not possible for me to take the stairs. Moreover I didn’t know where the fire was exactly, so I had no idea wether to go up or down. At that time I remembered I had my "own" emergency exit that was leading on the balcony of my neighbor. So I went back to my apartment ( it was now filled with smoke since I didn't close my door when I left earlier). I arrived to my emergency door, and the damn door was locked !!!. In order to open it, I was supposed to open it and puling it towards me, ( and not pushing it forward) The door handle was so weak that it almost stayed inside my hands. I tried to kick it in order to open it, but the door wouldn’t open, and neither break. At that time I really freaked out, I remember I started to cry. I was thinking what else I could do to escape. I really thought it would be the end for me. I couldn’t go out through the window, there are bars on it, moreover, located on the 3rd floor, it was impossible for me to jump.
I suddenly heard the sound of the fire trucks stopping in front of my building. I went to the window, opened it, broke the filter, and yield at the firefighters exiting their trucks to come and get me. One of them heard me screaming; he grabbed a ladder and installed it in front of my window. As soon as he arrived to my window, I remember the first thing he told me was “Francais or English ?” translated as “French or English ?” Speaking both, I don’t remember witch one I spoke, I just asked him to get me out of here. He was loaded with equipment. I remember seeing three oxygen tanks on his back, a circular saw on his left, and some big hammer on his right. He asked me if somebody else was living in my apartment; and I told me that I was the only one.  Then he told me that I had to leave everything, and climb on the ladder. I was so terrified that I just dropped all my bags ( I wouldn’t have been able to go through with it anyway) and climbed on the ladder. Once one the ground, I realized that the fire was in the unit underneath mine. It took me few minutes to calm down and realize what was happening. That is when I started to take pictures ( that you can see in the previous post) 

The Red Cross took care of me, they gave me a blanket ( because it was relatively cold outside at that time ) and some socks. They took us inside one of their bus and gave us food and drinks.
125 firefighters were there, and it took them four hours to control the fire, they did all they could for the buildings next to mine not to be damaged by the fire. Two firefighters were injured in this incident, but they are still alive. Nobody else except those two brave firefighter were injured. Only and old lady who was living in the same building as mine inhaled smoke (they took her to the hospital right after).

I’ve been sleeping at my friend apartment for ten days now. My school, Concordia University, took good care of me. They offered me the possibility to drop all my classes. They also offered me a room in their dorms, where I could stay for free till this summer, a free lawyer from school and some money ( $1500 ). They also gave me back all my books, and school supply for free. Apparently we were three students from Concordia in this building, I remember also that one guy sitting next to me in the red cross’s bus was in McGill University. Probably there were couple students from McGill too, since it is closer to my apartment than Concordia University is.

Today I found a new place, and I also got a new computer. Now I have to restart my life from scratch, and I thank God I am still alive.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Fire in my building apartment

To all my readers,

I am unable to continue this blog right now. A fire destroyed my building apartment on April 2nd. I lost everything I had except my cellphone, camera, passport, wallet, ipod and car keys.
My brand new computer stayed in the fire as well. I was inside when it happened and got trapped in my apartment because my emergency exit was locked. The fire started in the unit underneath mine. I made it out with the help of the firefighter only two minutes before the flames destroyed my apartment.
I want to thank all of you for your kind comments.

To see some more pictures of the fire, click here.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Theme of the day : water

What a weird weather today. First when I left home, the sky was cloudy, but it was not raining. Then in the middle of the day it's been raining, and finally, tonight around 6 pm, it was sunny with a clear blue sky. As you can guess, I took this picture in the middle of the day, when the rain was present. On my way to the Loyola campus, while sitting on the bus listening my music, I could see some students looking at me and talking at the same time. I realiszd that something was going one but I didn't realise what until I received a drop of water on my head. Some water was leaking from the roof of the bus, right onto my shoulder. Anyway, it was the little story of today, by the way, if you wonder where I took this picture, I took it on the Loyola campus of Concordia University in NDG.