Montreal Monkey

July’s monkey is “Describe your first impression of Montreal.”
I’m not sure that I have a first impression of our fair city. I was born at the Royal Victoria hospital, and lived on the South Shore until we moved to the Eastern Townships when I was about 7 years old.
One thing I remember is being astounded at how many of my classmates in high school had never been to Montreal. Our school was in Cowansville, less than an hour outside Montreal.
A lasting impression for me is the city skyline – every time. When I drive home and cross the Champlain bridge my heart skips a beat – every time. We may not have the most impressive downtown core, but there’s something about those majestic buildings standing against the forested mountain, with St. Joe’s dome and the worst-lit cross on the planet, that speaks to me.
I guess a first impression must exist, but just as it’s hard to remember my first impressions of my oldest friends, it’s hard to remember how Montreal first struck me. What I enjoy now is watching my kids discover the city – this summer, we’ve gotten to know places like Westmount Park, not to mention the metro, part of Colin’s obsession with all things cartographical.
I love Montreal – I love that we’re an island, I love that we’re bilingual and multicultural, I love that we can drive in the snow, I love that we have the Jazz fest and the comedy fest and fireworks and F1 and a guy on stilts playing the sax downtown. I love that we all, regardless of race, creed or whatever, hate potholes, yet they continue to infest the city. I love that we consider ourselves inherently superior to upstart metropolises like Toronto. I love that we don’t go to work wearing power suits and running shoes – I met a tourist once who told me that we “all dress like it’s New Year’s Eve every day.”
So, perhaps not a first impression, as such… sorry!

4 Replies to “Montreal Monkey”

  1. I love the MTL, too. I can see myself living elsewhere for a year or so but would have a hard time imagining myself in another city on a permenent basis.
    Just to promote MTL/self-promote a little further:
    My pics of Atwater
    My pics of MTL winter
    PS: Colin’s mental map of the city is incredible. That map-book of MTL will need replacing before you know it!

  2. Hey, don’t apologize, that was great! I have the same feeling whenever I see the skyline, which is fairly often these days (since we moved to the south shore).

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