Tom Simard

Poetry, Music, and Prose


Canada is such a beautiful country, and throughout the years I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel through many of its provinces and territories. I’ve been as far west as British Columbia, as far north as well, the Northern Territories, and as far east as Nova Scotia. However, my first trip as a young boy would be by car to Quebec.

My maternal grandfather was born in Montreal but left for the US in his twenties. His brother sometimes came to see him, and as a young child my mom recalls seeing the two of them sitting drinking beer and conversing in French.  It was to his family that we visited that very hot summer.

It was 1968, and although we had missed  Expo 67, Buckminster Fuller’s Geodesic dome remained and impressed me greatly.

Pano_Biosphere_Montreal(Photographer: Rene Ehrhardt)

Very little else has remained. There was the vinegar on the table to be used with French fries. The ice cream sundae gotten for free because a chunk of glass was found in the first one I’d been served, and my brother and I riding the hotel elevator in order to test the quality of the ice cubes on each respective floor, are not I suppose exactly selling points.

Here are some of the places I would visit (or revisit).

Notre-Dame Basilica:

220px-Montreal_NDame1_tango7174(Photographer: Tango 7174):

800px-Montreal_NDRosaire5_tango7174(Photographer: Tango7174)

The Old Port of Montreal:

Montréal_et_ses_reflets_-_Montreal_and_its_reflections(Photographer: French Picman)

The Old City:

Place_Jacques-Cartier,_Montreal_2005-10-21(Photographer: gene.arboit)

177_7738ret(Photographer: GK tramrunner229)

The Montreal Botanical Gardens:

800px-Jardin_alpin_1_JB(Photographer: Cephas)

The Montreal Musem of Fine Arts:

468px-El_Greco_-_Portrait_of_a_Gentleman_from_the_Casa_de_Leiva_-_WGA10455El Greco – Portrait of a Gentleman from the Casa de Leiva

336px-CrownWilliam-Adolphe Bouguereau – Crown of Flowers

I would think a summer visit coinciding with the Montreal International Jazz Festival would be just about perfect.

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8 thoughts on “Montreal

  1. Hi Tom, the Formula 1 weekend is also a great time to drop by Montreal! This year it is a bit earlier than usual so it might be on the cool side though. Jazz fest is also amazing as you mention. Happy visit!


    • Thanks for mentioning that. I wasn’t even aware there was such a weekend, but then again I know so little about the city. I have a feeling there’s probably something for just about everyone.


  2. I love Montreal, this trip you have outlined sounds great!


  3. I’d love to revisit. I’ve only been to Montreal twice (1968 and 1983). I’d also love to see more of Quebec. On my trip in 1983 I got to Trois-Rivières where my dad’s side is from, but not to Quebec City, which must be a great place.


  4. We absolutely love the city even though the “French” is very difficult for us to understand!


    • I imagine the pronunciation must be quite different from what you’re used to. Fascinating how languages change.

      Speaking of accents, I’ll never forget the time in which I was young and hitchhiking in the States and got a ride from a very nice talkative guy from Lousiana. In the hour or so I was with him, I can’t say I was able to understand a whole lot.


  5. It’s been years since I was in Montreal and your photos bring back such good memories. I hope to visit again.


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