Canada 2017, DCMontreal Light, Humor, Montreal, Photography, Wordpress

State-Of-The-Art Construction Elevator

Recently while out for a stroll taking in some of Montreal’s 375th Anniversary festivities we came across a state-of-the-art construction elevator. Much like those pneumatic tubes once used in department stores to send cash to a main cashier, and still used in hospitals, this device gets workers from street level to upper parts of the project.

The elevator is not yet in common use, but as part of a display it had been erected to demonstrate the efficiency of modern technology. Being curious, and always looking to spice things up, I volunteered to give the lift a whirl. In no time at all I was being sucked up the red tube on my way to the top level, then as the pressure was eased back down I gently came.

What will they think of next?

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Montreal May 17, 2042

With so much excitement brewing this summer regarding Montreal’s 375th anniversary I thought it might be interesting to gaze into a crystal ball and get an idea of what our fair city may look like twenty-five years from now when, in 2042, we mark our 400th. Below is an article from The Gazette of May 17, 2042 (sadly but not surprisingly, available online only).

(Montreal, May 17, 2042) On this 400th anniversary of Montreal, the city council proudly and officially adopted a motion to change the name of the downtown Ville Marie borough to “Jazz” in recognition of the fact that the corporate entity known as the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, marking its 63rd edition this year, now owns more than 54% of the commercial real estate in the borough. However, the vote in council was close, as many considered a second option, to change the name to Sergakis, after the entrepreneur, now in his nineties, who owns the other 46% of the properties.

With so many terraces and Bixi stations, the number of available parking spots not buried is almost nil, leaving motorists and driver-less cars with no alternative but to take their business to the suburbs.

Montreal is living up to its reputation as a pedestrian and bike-friendly city. Council has been lauded by many cycling associations from around the world for clearing the downtown core of essentially all motorized vehicles. This was achieved serendipitously through the issuance of permits for the vast proliferation of street-sidewalk straddling restaurant and bar terraces which reduced several main arteries, including Ste. Catherine and de Maisonneuve, to one narrow lane of traffic. Unfortunately, most of these terraces, once iconic symbols of the city’s joie de vivre, sit empty. With so many terraces and Bixi stations, the number of available parking spots not buried is almost nil, leaving motorists and driver-less cars with no alternative but to take their business to the suburbs.

Actual Cohen mural

The Montreal Canadiens continue to sell-out every home game, as they pursue that elusive 25th Stanley Cup. This year the team made it to the third round of the playoffs only to fall short, going down four games to three to the Calais Burghers, winners of the NHL’s European conference. Speaking in French, English, and Arabic, Habs head coach Abdul Abboud stated, “We need to make a few off-season tweaks and we will come back stronger”.

A late-game home run into the right-field bleachers at Molson Jackie Robinson Stadium crushed all hopes of a Series appearance.

Montreal sports fans did have something to cheer about as the Expos, celebrating the tenth year since returning to the city, came within one pitch of advancing to the North American Series (once inaccurately called the World Series). A late-game home run into the right-field bleachers at Molson Jackie Robinson Stadium crushed all hopes of a Series appearance. A number of older fans felt sadness and a strange sense of deja vu when LA Dodgers’ Freddy Friday played long ball to dash the Expos’ chances.

The final phase of the Turcot interchange overhaul is expected to be completed by year’s end. The work has taken significantly longer than was originally planned some thirty years ago due to several inquiries and commissions that have resulted in a total absence of political corruption. Contractors blame a lack of hands to be greased, and a dearth of kickback recipients for the lagging work.

Proposed Cohen Mural on Crescent Street

The city and its police force are still at loggerheads over pension reform. Council recently adopted new camouflage police uniforms thereby provoking the union to order its members to wear black pants in protest.

And perhaps Council’s most popular action was to pass a motion that will radically alter the number of construction cones in the city. Henceforth only streets without resurfacing, water main repairs, or a festival will be marked by the once ubiquitous orange cones.

The secularization of the city continued with the removal of the cross from Mount Royal.  A new thirty-metre tall illuminated statue of Leonard Cohen has been installed on the same site, bringing the number of Cohen tributes, including schools, Metro stations, murals, streets, libraries, and parks to 163.

And perhaps Council’s most popular action was to pass a motion that will radically alter the number of construction cones in the city. Henceforth only streets without resurfacing, water main repairs, or a festival will be marked by the once ubiquitous orange cones.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

 

 

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Alert Ready TV Ads and the Boy Who Cried Wolf

As we approach our 150th birthday on July 1st, Canadians can now feel a sense of security with the new Alert Ready warning system.

According to the website:

Alert Ready is designed to deliver critical and potentially life-saving alerts to Canadians through television and radio. The Alert Ready system is developed in partnership with federal, provincial and territorial emergency management officials, Environment and Climate Change Canada, The Weather Network and the broadcast industry to ensure you receive alerts immediately and know when to take action to keep yourself and your family safe.

On several occasions I have heard the alarm from the next room and rushed to see what form the impending doom would take. Of course it was just the ad – again.

All fine and dandy, just one problem. As this coordinated alarm system is new, the powers that be have been promoting it heavily on TV. In my house the television is on all day in the background, usually with a news channel. The ads that explain Alert Ready to the public feature the actual alarm sound and flashing red screen. On several occasions I have heard the alarm from the next room and rushed like a magnet to steel to see what form the impending doom would take. Of course it was just the ad – again.

So now when I hear the alarm I assume it is the ad and I just ignore it. What could go wrong? If there is a real disaster, I will have to rely on my current system; it has worked so far.

Remember Aesop? Remember the boy who cried wolf? May I suggest the good folks behind Alert Ready remove the alert sound from the adverts. Perhaps direct viewers to the website where the sound can be played at will.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Canada, Canada 2017, DCMontreal Light, EXPO 67, Marketing, Montreal, News, Nostalgia, Opinion, Wordpress

Expo 67’s Lack of Corporate Branding

Photo credit: © “Expo 67 Montreal Canada.” Toronto: Thomas Nelson & Sons, 1968

As we mark the 150th birthday of Canada – rare are references to it as our sesquicentennial, thank God – we are also celebrating the city of Montreal’s 375th anniversary. But for me the most enjoyable reminiscences have been those documenting the 50th anniversary of EXPO 67.

One of the things that has struck me while looking through many photos, is the seemingly total lack of corporate branding at the fair

As a seven year-old the huge World’s Fair was a pure joy for me. Thinking back to those days often tweaks a pang of nostalgia in me. Not surprisingly there is a plethora of tweaking going on as many exhibits and special events are running this summer. While I enjoy these formal presentations, what I find most heartwarming are posted photos of EXPO 67 that were taken by average visitors.

As an example this collection on Flickr comprises over a hundred photos that were found in a scrapbook on the street in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I figure sooner or later I will come across a picture with me in the background.

One of the things that has struck me while looking through many photos, is the seemingly total lack of corporate branding at the fair. There were corporate pavilions; Kodak, BELL etc. But when it came to branding  there was little if any. No  Doritos pavilion of the United States or Stella Artois’ Belgium pavilion.

Another thing that comes to mind while looking at these photos is that although there were lines for many pavilions … there never seems to be overwhelming crowds. It always looks comfortable

Given our reliance on corporate branding in today’s overpriced world, this is a breath of fresh air. I know it would be folly to suggest another EXPO 67-like event for any number of reasons, perhaps this is a good thing as another such event would no doubt be riddled with corporate logos and slogans.

Another thing that comes to mind while looking at these photos is that although there were lines for many pavilions (remember admission was free once you entered the site, no fee-per-exhibit) there never seems to be overwhelming crowds. It always looks comfortable – or is that an illusion after fifty years –  even if over 53 million visitors dropped in that summer.

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Welcome to Montreal Barack Obama

Dear President Obama,

We are pleased that you are coming to visit us in Montreal. I thought I would take a moment to give you a little background on what to expect. We live in an officially French-speaking province in a country that is officially bilingual; French and English. But at street-level most Montrealers get by just fine in a variety of languages and dialects. But please do not tell anyone, we like to keep that a bit of a secret.

In fact, given this cultural adjustment, it may well be the first time in a long time that you, Mr. President, find yourself the most conservative politician in a room.

Our political views run the gamut – left to right and everything in between. However keep in mind that up here everything is shifted just a wee bit to the left. In fact, given this cultural adjustment, it may well be the first time in a long time that you, Mr. President, find yourself the most conservative politician in a room.

This year the City of Montreal celebrates its 375th anniversary while Canada marks its 150 birthday. You may notice, as you are whisked about the city, many streets closed-off for various festivities. You may therefore be tempted to think that these people are putting on quite a party for their anniversaries, but in fact things are like this most summers in Montreal. It’s a long winter so we tend to make the most of summer. Coming back for the Jazz Festival?

It is my understanding that the United States Secret Service is responsible for your safety. I strongly suggest you make certain they have the absolute most up-to-date GPS information in their vehicles We have been known to have construction related detours with their very own detours! Not that your motorcade will get stuck in traffic what with police escorts and all, but when you send a trusted Agent out for a snack or a pack of smokes, he or she may become enmeshed in our annual Festival of the Construction Cones.

… should you notice a police officer wearing a bright red baseball cap, bullet-proof vest, and shocking pink camouflage pants please take no notice. Labour disputes can take some odd forms here

I have a hunch the local police assigned to your visit may be in full uniform – at least if the mayor has his way – but should you notice a police officer wearing a bright red baseball cap, bullet-proof vest, and shocking pink camouflage pants please take no notice. Labour disputes can take some odd forms here. But let’s face it, cammo pants are a whole lot better that a police strike.

On the topic of food, no doubt there will be calls for you to be photographed eating poutine, bagels or smoked meat. Try to avoid these kitschy shots. Montreal has a wide range of restaurants serving great meals from all over the world, Perhaps a photo at a Latin American cafe might fit the bill. Or better yet, skip the whole photo nonsense entirely and have a quiet meal brought in.

In closing let me welcome you to Montreal. I hope you enjoy whatever time you have here, I believe you will find you are much admired in my city. As for your successor, well, perhaps the less said the better, after all, we are having a party!

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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“The World Needs More Canada” is a Great Slogan For 150th Birthday in 2017

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and Bono. 'You say it loud, and that is why I am here, and that is why I am your friend and a friend of Canada's,' Bono said. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and Bono. ‘You say it loud, and that is why I am here, and that is why I am your friend and a friend of Canada’s,’ Bono said. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

 

Mr. Trudeau please cancel any contracts with advertising agencies that may involve the writing of a catchy phrase to be used next year for our 150th birthday; we have our slogan.

There have been some great advertising slogans over the years. “I ❤️ New York”, said I love New York, not I heart New York, is one of the first to pop into my mind. “It’s the real thing, Coke” was another, taking a shot at competitor cola Pepsi. It was popular until it was hijacked by the cocaine-snorting drug subculture. As simple as these phases seem in retrospect, I imagine big bucks were spent on them.

Recently we Canadians were given perhaps the ideal patriotic slogan when President Barack Obama stated “The world needs more Canada”. Bingo! There’s your slogan. Mr. Trudeau please cancel any contracts with advertising agencies that may involve the writing of a catchy phrase to be used next year for our 150th birthday; we have our slogan. And who better to unveil our new slogan than the first Black president of the United States?

This past weekend our new moniker was reiterated when U2 front-man Bono uttered it at the Global Fund Conference in Montreal.

Perhaps it is a reflection of our Canadian culture that these words have not been festooned on T-shirts, ball caps and bumper stickers. In the days of Trudeau pere no time was wasted printing merchandise with his Fuddle-Duddle  comment emblazoned on it.   Or could it be that President Obama has let the cat out of the bag too soon?

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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