Walk # 6 – Over The Mountain

“This mountain, the arched back of the earth risen before us, it made me feel humble, like a beggar, just lucky to be here at all, even briefly.”
Bridget Asher, The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted

Started at the old Train station at Parc and Jean Talon.

This pic makes me smile, it’s like I am on vacation in Europe or something…🙂

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Nice park in front of the station. It’s all changed from back when I lived in the area but it looks ok to me. This is looking out towards buildings on the east side of Parc.

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No accordion buses in the 80’s. I have no idea what studies have suggested but I would imagine these are worth it on the busier routes, maybe they just need to be electric to be even more efficient?

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Heading west on Jean Talon, main street for Park Extension.

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I lived on Durocher closer to Jarry than Jean Talon in the 80’s and early 90’s but was often down here. The street was more Greek, and Italian, back then, but Park Ex overall was a very mobile multicultural neighborhood even in those days. There was a girl in the family above me who, at 12 or so, was fluent in 6 languages, all from playing with other kids in the lane. Today I noticed a radical shift, most of the restaurants on this strip are now Indian even if old European looking males hang out at MacDonalds.

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But some negatives too as almost a whole block is shut down on one side.

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Livingstone Presbyterian Church, corner de l’Epee.

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Parc Athena.

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Parks on main streets bring a lot of quality to a neighborhood, even if there may be some issues at 3 am.

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At L’Acadie I come to the border of the Town of Mount Royal and decide to head south.

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Hungarian United Church at L’Acadie and Jean Talon.

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As you go south on L’Acadie there is this little space between some bushes that lets you on to Greenoch avenue. I continued south.

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Interesting little houses on L’Acadie (but it’s a very busy street).

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L’Acadie Metro at L’Acadie and Beaumont.

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Heading west on Beaumont.

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Heavy on the landscaping…

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The area south of Jean Talon along here is all medical/health centers and a long strip mall.

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Funeral parlour, but the size of the parking lot indicates this place can get busy.

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Wanting to go south at Rockland and this viaduct that is under construction has a pedestrian/bike path up the middle.

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The money we spend just maintaining and repairing already existing structures is astronomical, let alone trying to factor in what a truly complex project like Turcot will actually cost, and it will cost a scandalous fortune, you can bank on that! One of the main reasons for the general sad state of infrastructure in North America is that political parties have avoided taking responsibility for the constantly escalating costs of repairing and/or replacing infrastructure, as if it is so politically toxic to assume those debts that it is better to pretend it is not there and hope the other party will try to tackle it if and when they take power.

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Looking west.

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Looking east.

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And zooming in a bit you can see the Olympic Stadium tower on the right side.

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Eastern slope of Mount Royal.

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Down the other side.

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Some work being done at the bottom and they built this little walkway.

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And this is the name of an apartment building on Rockland.

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Building at Rockland and avenue du Manoir.

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Moving up Rockland. Manoir Outremont, starting to get a little ritzier as we go uphill.

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Lane across the street, however, looking quite ordinary.

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Le Piment Bleu, corner Ducharme and Rockland.

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Heading west noticing that this is not an unusual single house around here.

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Some samples from the area.

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Parc Joyce.

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I like it but it almost seems to be in poor taste in this neighborhood.

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Chalet at Parc Pratt.

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Even the parks seem wealthier around here.

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Zigzagged my way to Cote Sainte Catherine.

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Saint Germain d’Outremont. Much bigger church than it looks here.

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South on Vincent d’Indy. Heading into Universite de Montreal territory I see lots of residences, not sure if students live along here though.

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One of the possible downsides of these walks is realizing how you can just miss things. The building in the back is the Pensionnat de Saint Nom de Marie. I worked on a renovation project there in the mid 80’s replacing the windows. I can go back another time.

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Metro Edouard Monpetit and a university building on the hill.

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Closer up you get a better sense of the style.

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Got stuck on Willowdale for a while with no through street but came out on Edouard Montpetit here. Believe it or not that is Les Studios Hotel.

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Monument to Edouard Monpetit. It really is a beautiful campus and I am making a note to myself to give this a decent tour soon.

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The school appears to be well served by Bixi.

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The north side of Edouard Montpetit pretty much looks like this all the way. Thinking of the thousands of students who must have lived along here over the decades.

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It appears to be a very green campus. This is a patch that identifies various species of plants that were planted here.

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Almost thought I was going to pass through here without getting a shot of the iconic tower on the main buildings designed by Ernest Cormier. Phew!

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Looks like a part of the Metro system but the area is closed because of, yep, construction.

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Taking pictures of a famous local tower, easiest method for feeling like a tourist in your town that I have yet to come  across.

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The school and environs cannot escape the madness of construction everywhere here in the summer months these days.

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An entrance.

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Leaving the school area and heading west on Lancombe. Nice house.

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And down on to Cote des Neiges.

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Metro Station.

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Reasonably priced farmer’s market.

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It’s a pretty busy commercial street along here.

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Up ahead, the Rockhill apartment complex, one of my aunts lived there for a long time.

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After taking a break at a coffee shop I headed west along Queen Mary. It’s a Pharmaprix drug store today but this place was once a wax museum focused on history though I  remember some of its “Tableau” were clearly racist renditions of events…it was kind of a lame and hopeless sort of place. Not missed by moi.

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College Notre Dame.

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And across the street, Saint Joseph’s Oratory, Canada’s largest church.

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Bit of a closer look.

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Sports field on north side is part of College Notre Dame I am guessing.

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Not sure what this building is on the south side, but it is just west of the Oratory so I assume it is a related structure.

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And back on the other side is the Institut Universitaire Geriatrie de Montreal which is associate with the Universite de Montreal (getting dizzy myself just posting this).

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In closer at the main entrance.

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Apartment building with non functional fountain on Cote des Neiges.

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And I decided to head south (uphill) on Grosvenor.

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Houses are getting bigger again.

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And I am really struck by these basement garages that seem deliberately angled to make getting in and out easier and I would bet that it very much is easier.

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Was not expecting to see this little neighborhood cut through short cut up here.

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Some of the types of houses up along here.

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And I do have to confess that I did take a little three minute break sitting on someone’s front steps because Grosvenor is a long relentless uphill walk. I would not have dared to try this route six months ago but in early January I quit smoking and began walking much more with at least one 2 hour (or plus) walk per week. So I am particularly happy with this walk because I have challenged myself on a level that was unthinkable six months ago, so YAY for me!!

Went west on Sunnyside and turned south on Victoria. And I am thinking super expensive rest home on top of the hill?

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Going to stop for a moment to mention something for which I have no picture(s) because I just don’t do certain things. You may have heard that women from Southeast Asia (often The Philippines are mentioned) get hired/sponsored/or whatever to work as domestic help for wealthier people in Canada. Well, on my walk through here today I saw no less than a dozen woman who fit that description either waiting at bus stops or being picked up by similarly looking men, but no one of any other racial description was waiting at a bus stop, etc.  and you just do not see pedestrians on these streets if today was a good example… Not saying anything is wrong, just saying…weird, is what it is…

About to head west along The Boulevard.

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At this point my camera is warning me it is running out of juice so I decide to try to just take pictures of what might be the most important things I come across if shooting and turning the camera off right away is going to work to make the camera function for the rest of this walk.

A bit strange to suddenly be going through here.

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And then it’s all downhill…

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I pass by this place on my left (south). Providence.

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And I almost feel like celebrating as I hit Decarie Expressway but, still some more downhill to go!

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Heading south on Decarie this is part of the Providence property.

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Looking across Decarie and here is a franchise, so to speak,  of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons). So I might as well say right now that the reason I often post pictures of religious centers (churches) is primarily because of their architectural value, which I tend to believe is much higher than most structures in the city, their sometimes intense relationship to the surrounding neighborhood (history) and their sheer prominence on the streets that I walk. They are worth mentioning in my book.

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Villa Maria Metro.

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And here is the original Villa Maria (well, the gate anyway).

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Continuing south on Decarie.

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Can you guess why I would post this relatively new but relatively obscure little project? Outside staircases.

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Saint Augustine of Canterbury Parish.

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Old fire station on Notre Dame de Grace boulevard and Prud’homme.

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Some housing heading south on Prud’homme.

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Looking east at Sherbrooke. That Buffalo Jeans billboard has been there for at least 20 years, can we start calling it iconic (even if it is technically always changing)?

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So I continue down Prud’homme and come out at de Maisonneuve. And it’s the Superhospital looking every bit like the Lego inspired post-austerity post-medicare spiritual twin of the Turcot fiasco happening just over it’s left shoulder. It’s almost like we built two Olympic Stadiums in one spot.

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Former film processing factory.  There were no windows on this building 20 years ago.

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So I waltz in towards Vendome Metro feeling pretty darn good about hitting my goal, which was to end up here. I decided to take a self portrait of myself so I put my camera on a 10 sec timer (completely blown away by the fact that the turn on/shoot/turn off strategy actually appears to have extended the battery life of said camera) and everything is totally great… put the camera on the ledge of a planter and walk back near a phone booth…and this woman walks through the scene….and my camera dies, so I laugh to myself at the irony of that and head home only to later find out that that last picture actually worked!!

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Never give up!! I got a million cliches and this is a city that never fails to prove that what you think ain’t always what really is because it’s so much waaaay better…you got to get out there, my friends, so until the next time, so long from the photoflanneur!!🙂

Map # 6

 

 

 

 

 

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