#TBT Montreal’s taverns; relics of the past

Once upon a time there was a tavern Where we used to raise a glass or two Remember how we laughed away the hours And dreamed of all the great things we would do Those words were made famous in the late 1960s by Beatles protégé Mary Hopkin, in fact the popular recorded version was producedContinue reading “#TBT Montreal’s taverns; relics of the past”

Legacy of Montreal’s Summer Olympics Forty Years Later

With the Rio Olympics opening this weekend, and Montreal marking the 40th anniversary of our games in 1976  much has been said and written about the legacy of those games. The Gazette columnist Basem Boshra wrote a piece on Monday titled Hosting the Olympics was cool, really, but let’s never do it again. While IContinue reading “Legacy of Montreal’s Summer Olympics Forty Years Later”

Traffic Cops Just Aren’t the Same These Days

If you tried to get anywhere in the vicinity of the south-west area of Montreal last weekend you are probably all too aware of the old concept of needing to break a few eggs to make an omelette. The much-needed revamping – reramping? –  of the Turcot Interchange involves several temporary road closures, some long-term, someContinue reading “Traffic Cops Just Aren’t the Same These Days”

The Tree is Gone, But Not Entirely

I have lived on the same street for 53 of my fifty-six years. The house, we called it a flat in those days, in which I spent the first nineteen years of my life is a mere stone’s throw up the street from where I now live. It is a long, narrow unit, with hallsContinue reading “The Tree is Gone, But Not Entirely”

Fobbed Off: Remembering Car Keys

We changed cars a week or so ago. After two Hyundai vehicles we changed manufacturer but not country by getting another Korean car, a Kia Soul. So far we are very pleased. I am especially pleased with the new key fob. The two Hyundai cars were fine, we only changed to Kia because we likedContinue reading “Fobbed Off: Remembering Car Keys”

My Great-Grandfather’s World War One Lie

My great-grandfather, Ernest Henry Blackwell, was born in Sussex, England. As a young boy his family emigrated to Canada where he would spend the rest of his days. He met and married my great-grandmother, Annie Ellis, whose family had also made the move across the pond. They had five children: three sons and two daughters.Continue reading “My Great-Grandfather’s World War One Lie”

World War One Centenary: Family Lore and Family Loss

I often wonder what those men who managed to survive the “War to end all wars”, my grandfather among them, felt when twenty-odd years later they watched their sons go off to the battlefields of Europe once again. With countless media reports and background pieces regarding the centenary of the start of World War One thisContinue reading “World War One Centenary: Family Lore and Family Loss”

The (Possible) Future of Baseball in Montreal

The following appeared in the Montreal Gazette today. Another very successful baseball weekend has taken place in Montreal. One that, upon reflection, speaks volumes about how the city has evolved. Over one hundred thousand fans ponied up to watch two games between the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox. The nostalgia was thicker thanContinue reading “The (Possible) Future of Baseball in Montreal”

A Short History of Montreal’s Anglo/Irish Pubs

Here’s a re-post of a popular piece on Montreal’s Anglo/Irish pubs. Just in time for St. Patrick’s day! To see the original post, including many comments from former employees and patrons click here. Back when I was young, during the mid-seventies,  it seemed Montreal was awash with Anglo/Irish Pubs. There’s still a good number ofContinue reading “A Short History of Montreal’s Anglo/Irish Pubs”

McDonald’s Takes Next Step in Customer Training

Every now and then, whether for convenience or a longing for grease, I pop into McDonald’s for a quick bite. The first time I went to a McDonald’s was when I was in high school during the mid-seventies. Burgers were much cheaper then and were housed in squeaky Styrofoam containers that will take a gazillionContinue reading “McDonald’s Takes Next Step in Customer Training”