Friday, March 27, 2009



Sarah Mclachlan

I will remember you

I loved Montreal as a kid.
Montreal was originally a Mohawk town called Hochelaga, when Jaques Cartier came in 1535
In 1642 a fur trading town Ville Marie was founded by Sieur de Maisoneuve.
When the English took over in 1762 it all became Montreal.
Montreal allowed alcohol, burlesque the 1930's
In 1960 it was busy building Expo 67 Worlds Fair and a subway system which later followed with the Olympics in 1976 and a new stadium.

Montreal lost many jobs when the St Lawrence opened up and business went further inland.
Then the Separatist movement began when De Gualle came and yelled out : Vive le Quebec Libre!
This resulted in the Pierre LaPorte Kidnappings and Trudeaus War Measures Act.
No one feared it because it only concerned political radicals.
The licence plates changed from la Belle Province to Je me Souviens.
The English Language was outlawed.

You could speak any other language except English lol
If you were an English customer they refused to serve you in English.

And recently they found out that there were not that many French here for the English to take over in 1762 but this small group of separatists made enough trouble to make 700,000 people leave to keep peace.

Mayor Drapeau who had a vision for his Montreal, told the Separatists if they separate he will separate Montreal from them and then the Indians followed suit so Quebec saw, they would be left with very little if they separated including having to develop a new currency.

It was an exciting, dynamic place to live.
We had a lot of discussions and learned many social things in those days,
most of Canada has yet to learn
All in all it was a fun place to live.
We had the most snow. Tons of it.
It was nothing like Toronto where the cold is just unbearable.

Montreal was humid most of the time.
We’d get so excited when Jack Frost would visit our windows.
He was such a good painter and as far as I know, he never went to school.
So there must have been some divine intervention. lol

The snowflakes that followed would be huge, fluffy and drifted like feathers from the heavens,
landing ever so softly on the ground.
We tried as hard as we could to find some we could see the patterns in.
Sometimes we even took our magnifying glasses outside to have a clearer view.

We’d dig tunnels to climb in and imagined they were enchanted castles.
We’d climb our trees and sit there breathing the brisk air, watching the holy spirit stream out of our mouths (that’s what we’d pretend it was)
and dream we were on top of mountain peaks.
If we’d get a little drizzle, it would turn into a real winter wonderland, blue and sparkly and holy.
Truly a sight to behold.
The peace and solitude and quiet was tremendous outside.

Every year we were blessed by winters such as these and every year we’d looked forward to more of them.
The trees bent their bows in a majestic eloquent display, saluting old man winter.

Who said they needed green leaves when winter gave them white ones?
Snow saved them from the frost.

We had electric heating so I would shut mine off in my room and open the sliding window just a smidgen,
snuggle into my warm blankees and wake up the next morning with rosy cheeks and a red nose.
The first thing I’d do is run to the window to see how much snow collected and to feast my eyes.
You always slept sooooooo well this way and you never wanted to die.

I would ask my Mom when she tucked me in, why do we have night?
I want it to be day and day and day all the time
I haven’t changed much. I should live in Alaska. My dream would come

We’d open the front door and it would always be half covered in snow, so we’d have fun shoveling it all out, just to turn around and have to shovel to get back to the front door
Like they say, when it rains it pours, so it was with the snow.

No one complained. Every one was happy, the young, the old, the sick the lame.
My street was cosmopolitan.
We had a little girl with polio across the street and her dad would take her out to sit on the wheel chair.
We were good friends.
Every one spoke a different language and we loved each other, helped each other. It was great.
Then we’d build our snow men. They grew to be up to 7 feet tall. We liked doing it cause the snow man
collected all the snow we’d need to otherwise shovel.

We enjoyed playing, throwing snow balls, making angels, skating. We had a small hill (Agins Hill, never knew the name really. Just kids would say: Lets go to Agins hill lol) nearby so we tobogganed
on it. My Dad got me skis and he said this hill is good to learn on, so I’d go and ski on it.
It took a second to go down and an hour to climb back up. lol
One day I fell and continued rolling down hill but the boot wouldn’t come out of the ski, which was stuck three feet deep into the snow.
I wrenched my knee real good and had to limp home but I was darned if I was going to show any pain,
cause if I did that, my parents would not let me go to the hill anymore. I had a hard enough time getting them to let me wear

When I went to college and we had this kind of weather, I would walk cross country about 20 kms. ( I should check this out) there and back. We had no classes but it was fun to get there, sit in the caf drinking hot coffee. Warming up,do some studying.
You’d imagine you lived up in the Alps.You had to imagine, cause it was never going to happen. But dreams come true.
You never know what life has in store for you.
Resting, you’d people watch, to see what other foolish persons decided to go to school that day loll

Most of the day was spent walking and I’d get home with blisters but feeling thoroughly fulfilled.
I had an adventure.


Anonymous said...

i love montreal!. one of the greatest cities in the world. aside from New York

A Lady's Life said...

It sure changed a lot though.
A lot more people, more traffic.
I liked it better before lol