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Montreal streetscapes: photos

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
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great pictures

It looks alike my neighborhood here in Chicago

....But.....

Where is this 'ghetto' your speak of?

Looked pretty nice to me. ;-)
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
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Awesome pics Chris! Thanks for sharing with us.

The picture of the postal worker also shows the new Canadian version of the Segway, the "Segwayeh?"
 

Dan

Dear Leader
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McGill is an Anglophone university in Montreal and one of the most highly regarded institutes of higher learning in Canada. What you're seeing is the Canadian version of a college ghetto; it's really no different than the US equivalent.

Great photos! I like seeing images that show street-level scenes, rather than skylines that are devoid of the masses.

The images show a city that is obviously North American, but still with its own identity. Depanneuers, for instance. I'd imagine it's what St. Louis and other cities in what is now the American Midwest would be like, if the French held on to the Louisiana Purchase lands.

Although I've never been to Montreal, I've always been impressed by the city's human scale and vibrancy, despite the economic setback of recent years. The one thing that has kept me from embracing it, from thinking of it as accessible like Toronto and Portland, is the language barrier.

Yes, I know there's still a sizeable Anglophone and Allophone community in the West Island area of Montreal, but do Anglophones ever feel like they're on the outside looking in? I know English speakers in El Paso, a city where Spanish speakers predominate, often feel the same way. Some middle class Anglo families in El Paso have been packing their bags, and moving across the New Mexico border to Las Cruces, where English is the dominant language (and the built environment is far less "Texan," for lack of a better way to describe it). Are Anglophones still leaving Montreal?
 
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i don't think so. those who felt the emergence of a quebec national identity was an affront packed their bags a long time ago. a lot of other anglo montrealers moved to toronto because of the economic situation. in recent years, however, the economy has improved dramatically -- the amount of development now is amazing, compared to just three years ago -- and people are actually coming, not leaving. i know quite a few anglos who have moved here from other parts of canada.

it's hard to say whether anglos feel alienated, since i'm not native-born, but it really depends on how you approach life. sometimes the anglophone cultural community tends to feel a little small and incestuous.

of course, it's impossible to paint a black-and-white picture of anglophones and francophones. at least 1/3 of montrealers are allophone, people whose native tongue is neither french nor english. they usually speak three languages. the anglophone community itself is quite diverse, since most pre-101 immigrants decided to speak english, and the francophone community isn't just québécois. there are a lot of french expats in montreal, especially on the plateau, and french-speaking immigrants are slowly working their way into the francophone mainstream.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
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Montreal is a huge tourist city so I don't think the language barrier would be significant - I haven't had any problems though yes I do read and speak passable French. Most Montrealers, except the die-hards on either side, are bilingual.

Montreal is an amazing city to wander around and soak in the atmosphere, as NHPlanner can attest ;)
 
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incidentally, i was wondering why so few people in the planning community seem to point to montreal's neighbourhoods as models for how cities should be built. portland is constantly held up as an example, for instance, and new york has been exhaustively studied. but parts of montreal are textbook examples of how a city should work. the plateau is the best instance: half of its residents don't own a car, it is brimming with young couples and families, it has a diverse array of housing types and architecture, it is dense and has a cohesive built environment and it has flourishing commercial streets.
 

Plannerbabs

Cyburbian
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How lovely and much more urban than lots of cities farther south. We've been thinking of moving north for a while now, and since about 1/2 your photos have a car just like mine, which is an unusual model where we live, I've decided to take that as a sign that we need to move to Montreal. Need any more planners and/or musicians up there? We promise not to eat more than our fair share of poutine.
 

CiNYC

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i agree 100% Chris. Montreal should definitely be a model for future planning. IMO, it is far more beautiful than Portland, or the majority of cities in the US for that matter. It's a shame that it doesn't get the credit it deserves on this side of the border.

I'd move there yesterday if given the opportunity. (although i'm still quite leary of the language barrier mentioned above.)
 
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well, the thing about portland is that, while it seems to have had very little real urbanism to begin with, it's doing everything right. like vancouver, it has placed an emphasis on creating new urban fabric and investing massively in public transit. montreal is fortunate enough to have a great urban environment that works very well -- but if it was as aggressively pro-urban as portland, the results would be astounding. same goes for any city that already has great, pre-existing urbanity: if cities like portland and vancouver can become such great places with little original urbanism to work with, think of what montreal and toronto would become if they were as driven as those two cities.

of course, things seem to be changing. toronto already has an urbanism plan, a highly pro-urban mayor. montreal's urbanism plan is in the works and should become official next year. hopefully montreal will be able to harness its newfound development boom and not just fill in the holes and fix the mistakes of yesteryear, but improve upon the urbanity that is already there.
 

tsc

Cyburbian
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nice pics, love the row houses. Montreal is just a bit to cold though...
 

H

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Great Pics, Montreal is quickly become on my must see list after this post and my Canadian “tourist film” I watched at EPCOT a few weeks ago at the wine festival.

OT:
Hey Dan, another example of what you speak of is Miami and the English-speaking exodus is to Ft. Lauderdale. It is not a racially exclusive item either, as both white and black English speakers alike seem to be migrating north together.

There is NO WAY I would live here in Miami if I were not bilingual. I am still often on the outside not being Latin, however since there are so many people from so many different countries everyone seems to be in different groups and everyone is on someone’s outside so I am no more on the outside than anyone else. Cuban is definitively the most represented group here, but there are many other influential groups here as well.

I can say with out a doubt that this is the most multi-culturally interesting place I have ever been.
 
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NHPlanner

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Tranplanner said:
Montreal is a huge tourist city so I don't think the language barrier would be significant - I haven't had any problems though yes I do read and speak passable French. Most Montrealers, except the die-hards on either side, are bilingual.

Montreal is an amazing city to wander around and soak in the atmosphere, as NHPlanner can attest ;)
I had no problem making my way around Montreal knowing zero French. Everyone I spoke with either was bilingual or anglophone.

I didn't get to wander enough.....basically only the area around the Bell Centre and St. Catherines Street during my visit (was there for less than 24 hours). I definitely want to go back and soak in a bit more of the city.
 
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