Walk # 19 – The Point Part 5 – Rain


Kiss me with rain on your eyelashes,
come on, let us sway together,
under the trees, and to hell with thunder.”
Edwin Morgan, A Book of Lives

Started out at Bridge and Wellington. I wasn’t sure if Bridge south of Wellington was considered part of The Point or not so I figured if I went out as far as the Black Rock I would have all my bases covered. (1)


I love Rain.

It was a Sunday and the traffic off the bridge was not too bad but it did back up a bit at the lights. (2)


There used to be an abandoned building on the rear left in the mid 90’s I  referred to as The Stables. Took a ton of photographs. (3)


And here it is in roughly 1996. (4)


And a bonus shot confirms it was after 1995 because we can see from this shot that the Wellington Tunnel had already been closed (1995). Taken from a second floor window. (5)


Some tips for taking photographs in the rain over here.

Looking the other way. (6)


Small section of track that was never pulled. Makes me think of when I worked on the railroad in British Columbia. We had rain gear and didn’t get wet being outside all day and our biggest problem was how to smoke cigarettes and joints without getting them wet. Good times. (7)


Not hard to imagine that the Costco here is usually quite busy. (8)


Complexe Multifonctionel? Does that include a rehab for gamblers? (9)


Boarded up building. (10)

p1160056Detail of the entrance filled with junk. (11)


It’s a strange field

filled with ghost memories

of our industrial past

made possible by the prohibitive cost of dismantling steel and concrete silos.

It’s a strange place

awaiting a resurrection

as we delete the memories of ghosts

every day.

(Tears in Rain)


I have to admit I was never a brakeman, but as a section hand I have on a couple of occasions pulled open a switch for a train thus saving the actual brakeman from coming down out of the locomotive and doing it himself . One of those common completely against the rules courtesys that usually gets done in the middle of nowhere when no one is looking. I wonder how many ghosts have pulled this switch?  (13)



Canada Post facility. You can see that my camera is already getting wet by that foggy spot. (14)


No idea what the significance of those “H” structures are but it is a Hydro Quebec facility. (15)


A message. (16)


Train coming in as I come up to the black rock. (17)


Stone that commemorates the men and women who served and fell from Goose Village in World War 2. This is just on the side of a street where hardly anyone ever walks. (18)


The Black Rock. I absolutely hate that billboard. (19)


If that billboard could only be moved  a few hundred feet in either direction it would still be seen by thousands of drivers daily, yet would give us a dignified view of one of the most significant Irish memorials on the planet outside of Ireland. (20)


Montreal‘s version of Battersea? (21)


Back on Wellington, where I started, looking south. I can remember when that was a busy truck depot on the left, now it is all containers –  efficiency, a concept that has killed zillions of opportunities worldwide. (22)


Redpath Silos. (23)


It’s interesting how rain changes everything visually. Not sure I would have even taken this pic had it been a sunny day. (24)


Former bank building at Conde and Grand Trunk. (25)


Where Mullins and Wellington meet, black asphalt in the rain. (26)


You would be dry sitting on these steps today. (27)




Like strange holes or cut outs or USB ports or somethin else. (29)


This might just be the most inviting staircase on the planet. (30)


Overall, The Point feels fairly flat even if this picture suggests otherwise. (31)


That used to be an underground pedestrian walkway.(32)


End of Sainte Madeleine. Tree looks like it may have been sculpted during the ice storm. (33)


Entrance with alley. (34)


Former Bank of Montreal building turned into a residence/art/theater space by architect Pieter Sijpkes and also a very welcome home for the Point Saint Charles Community Theatre. Check it out because I have attended many excellent productions at a ridiculous low cost! It’s one of the best things in Montreal! (35)


Parc de la congregation. (36)


I like the variety of entrances and even the balconies are not the same! (37)


Bit of a strange looking building as there doesn’t look like there would be much room for halls inside from this angle. (38)


Yea, water on the lens, but you’ve got to love that street sign with attitude, well, ok, maybe it is just being a little over dramatic (must be an Irish sign then, eh?). (39)


Parc des Cheminots. (40)p1160098

What would you guess this building was originally built as? I will guess it was a tavern on the first floor. But a lot of buildings look like that today. (41)


Gothic. (42)


The Voice of the Rain
by Walt Whitman

And who art thou? said I to the soft-falling shower,
Which, strange to tell, gave me an answer, as here translated:
I am the Poem of Earth, said the voice of the rain,
Eternal I rise impalpable out of the land and the bottomless sea,
Upward to heaven, whence, vaguely form’d, altogether changed, and yet the same,
I descend to lave the drouths, atomies, dust-layers of the globe,
And all that in them without me were seeds only, latent, unborn;
And forever, by day and night, I give back life to my own origin, and make pure and beautify it;
(For song, issuing from its birth-place, after fulfilment, wandering,
Reck’d or unreck’d, duly with love returns.)

Old building on the old CNR grounds. (43)


People in the Point got together and actually stopped Loto Quebec and Circque du Soleil from building a Casino here. It remains one of the most impressive citizen run community engagements in the history of the city. (44)


But it did not stop development altogether. (45)


Tempting to explore but will stay focused on the streets. 🙂 (46)


So the sky gets washed out, a belligerent white or a reluctant grey, but that asphalt comes alive, baby, that asphalt sure does come alive! (47)


Lush life. (48)


Parc des Cheminots  again! (49)


I am just struck by the beautiful irony of this depanneur, this incredible building, which is  pretty much your “shopping” in this part of town – perhaps just as well. (50)


Unpaved lane, they exist, but are quite rare overall in M0ntreal. (51)


Hate to harp on something but I am always struck by the apparent fragility of these kinds of steps, that take a pretty good beating in this climate, of course, it might not be a big deal, or expense, to replace them every so many years. (52)


Legion, bet there have been a few dandy stories told in that place! (53)


Another depanneur on Wellington. (54)


Water spots, hard to keep up… (55)


Official green lane. (56)


It never stopped raining the whole walk, just changed intensities… (57)


I love these elaborate entrances,  but they also remind me of so many skills that are being lost as we type/read/wonder… (53)


It’s like something from the Silent Era, a place that seems like home in such a powerfully nostalgic way that only Charlie Chaplin could have been born there! (54)


Not sure how well it works, we can create our own cliches LOL, but I seem to have developed this habit of using car roofs in compositions. (55)



and like this… (56)


More relatively recent development. (57)


Some rigid forms there but not monotonous. (58)


End of another street. (59)


Someone had this bike business set up, perhaps not many customers in the rain? (60)


Big piece on that wall, everything’s wet. (61)


Mural on wall in… racquet court? (62)


Mural on the other side too. Local pride, nice to see! (63)


Mixed emotions, the joggers are probably thinking, poor guy out in the rain, I am thinking, what, running for 12 minutes in some light rain makes you two some kind of Samurai sprinters? It’s not a friggin hurricane, ya know? We all moved on. (64)


The Point has an awkward layout, almost an anti-grid, but I tend to think its bus service is better than it once was, so the problem is that there just are not very many straight lines to a Metro station. (65)


Another take on the Montreal Triplex?!?!?!  (66)



Sometimes I look at things and I wonder how the hell did a Coors Light poster ever end up in this out of the way location, because nobody in Canada drinks Lite Beer, right? (wicked staircase). (67)


Ivy, water on lens, socket entrances, this shot has it all LOL. (68)


Back on Wellington. I wonder about architectural influences, are dormers strictly Parisian?
And Wiki always has the answer!

“The word “dormer” is derived from the Middle French dormeor, meaning “sleeping room”,[10] as dormer windows often provided light and space to attic-level bedrooms.[2]

One of the earliest uses of dormers was in the form of lucarnes, slender dormers which provided ventilation to the spires of gothic churches and cathedrals. An early example is the spire of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford.

Dormer windows have been used in domestic architecture in Britain since the 16th century.[11] Dormer windows were popularised by architect Francois Mansart, who used dormers extensively in the Mansard roofs he designed for 17th-century Paris.[12]

Today dormers are a widespread feature of pitched roof buildings.”

Full page here. (69)


Some potential along Wellington, but how do you create a great commercial street without overloading on bars and restaurants?  (70)


This is what we should be doing with many of those blank walls besides lanes. (71)


Camera started going weird and I accidentally took this one as I went to stand under that roof and try to figure out what was happening (it probably got wet and went wonky until drying out lol). (72)


Brick shithouses. (73)


Social housing. (74)


Hogan’s Bath, famous swimming hole, and it is condos today. (75)


Threshold and in! (76)


Amazing place, front yard dominated by brick walls on either side, yet it lives rather nicely back there. (77)


Someone was able to paint that high and someone was able to, just go bleck? (78)


Into extra time following back on some blocks I missed the first time through, yep, actually did not walk this block first time around, going to do it now and work my way over to Centre street. 🙂 (79)

Detail. (80)


Side of the school. (81)


You know you really want to see what this place looks like inside. (82)


Ukrainian church, again, but wet this time *and my latest piece is called Wet Ukrainian Church* lol. (83)


Knox Taverne on the corner of Shearer and Center. (84)


Cool coffee shop. (85)


It’s the address, not the date of birth (wink). (86)


This is just sad. (87)


Works for me. (88)


Paroisse Saint Charles. (89)


Saint Gabriel’s. (90)




Into the home stretch. So, one question worth thinking about is whether or not these walks actually can increase your awareness of a certain district/neighborhood/ghetto/borough/etc?

I grew up in Verdun and have had certain ideas about The Point all my life (mostly good) so it may be unlikely that these walks will have changed my mind over some basic assumptions I may have. But time changes things, so have I noticed anything different?

You do get the feeling that there is a new middle class group that has found a home in this place, especially along the canal. There is absolutely no doubt that gentrification has had a major impact on The Point, yet, in many ways, it remains the same old working class place. You get a strong feeling of community here, and unlike other moving and grooving areas of Montreal, it does not feel like the lesser-thans are going to be tossed any time soon, that there is a willingness to cohabitate, or at least accept each other where you are. The Point remains one of the most interesting, beautiful, and down to earth places on the island of Montreal! (91)


If the rooms could talk… (92)



Legendary hot dogs and pool too!! (93)



Yet another cool hybrid built around the triplex concept. (94)



Sort of a Friedlanderish self portrait, but I think it would also be fair now to say a la Vivian Mayer. (95)


1891, in case you cannot make it out. (96)



Small family business still going strong! (97)


And the Charlevoix Metro is calling my name! (98)


And that’s it!

Every street in Point Saint Charles walked? Check!

Once again I couldn’t resist throwing in 3000 unnecessary links in my quest to discover how to do narrative in the age of hypertextuality (wink).

Not much else to say beyond that I am probably going to change my approach to blogging about these walks – less pictures, less links, less time spent searching lol.
Until the next time, take care!!


3 responses to “Walk # 19 – The Point Part 5 – Rain

  1. I’ve enjoyed your walks immensely. It’s been great following around someone who actually knows about the neighbourhood and can point out details and history. And the rain really brought out the colours in the brick, street and murals. Where to next??

  2. You just took me on a journey of memories and thoughts of biking and running around while growing up. My first job at Northern Electric and Buildings that disappeared like Riverside School , Centenary and St.Mathews churches and the ” Ice House ” on Charon St.
    Best of all Young Love at Margaret Bourgois Park. Overall a Great Experience of growing up. Thank You From a 79 year old Boy.

  3. Enjoyed your Walks so much… I lived in the Point for many years….
    (I am 81)… Thanks so much for the wonderful memories…

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