We met our guide and driver early this morning and began a tour of Montreal. We drove from Old Montreal, to the St. Catharine’s shopping district, to Isle St. Helene, up Mount Royal, with a few stops along the way.
While I had gone on my own Leonard Cohen pilgrimage to visit the Main Deli restaurant he often patronized, one of our journalist group asked our driver to take us to his home.
Interestingly where he lived is only a couple of blocks from the Main Deli, so he could easily have walked back and forth, with stops in some interesting shops and ethnic grocery stores along the way.
While at the beginning all the flowers were being placed at the foot of the house, it turned out that too many were trying to get to the door and see if anyone else was at home.
They had to block of the door with a Plexiglas unit. As it turned out the home is on a square where there already was a memorial. All of the flowers have subsequently been moved there.
We did a brief stop at Justin Trudeau’s home, which looks fairly small and simple. Until our guide explained that this unimposing one story building built on the side of the mountain had three more stories if it could be viewed from the back side.
We drove up the mountain for a superb view of the city. In the distance the Jacque Cartier Bridge will be majestically lit starting in May as part of the 375 celebrations. The Olympic Stadium which for years was a financial albatross around necks of Montreal taxpayers, has been transformed into office space, and other facilities have been added to make it a ‘go to’ area.
Later we would go to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. It is holds an unbelievable collection in its five pavillions. It would take days to see everything. Our visit concentrated on the newest addition, the Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion For Peace.
Much of the foundation of this pavilion was built around the Hornstein’s donation of their private collection of Old Master Paintings, augmented by so many other old and modern pieces that make the tour such a delight.