Project 365 – week 6

Day 36 – Feb 5th 2012

Montreal's iconic staircases - rue Saint Hubert

Montreal's iconic staircases - rue Saint Hubert

A unique architectural feature found in Montreal is the abundance of outdoor staircases. In the downtown area many homes are double (duplex), triple (triplex) or more occupancy dwellings. Due to space restrictions, external rather than internal staircases became the norm. Space became a greater premium following a 19th century law stipulating that homes have green areas at the front.

Given the abundance and many beautiful designs found across the city, I’m actually considering doing a study on the staircase culture in a separate post in the future.

The following image was taken looking south on rue Pontiac towards avenue du Mont-Royal and the Sanctuaire du Saint-Sacrement and its church the Eglise Notre-Dame-du-Tres-Saint-Sacrement.

 Sanctuaire du Saint-Sacrement, av du Mont-Royal

Sanctuaire du Saint-Sacrement, av du Mont-Royal

During the winter months, temporary ice hockey rinks are constructed and maintained in many of the parks across Montreal. You will often find hockey enthusiasts hitting a puck around at all times day and night. The one below is on Jeanne-Mance Park near Avenue Duluth.

Ice Hockey game on Jeanne-Mance Park

Ice Hockey game on Jeanne-Mance Park

Day 37 – Feb 6th 2012

The Word Bookstore, Milton avenue

The Word Bookstore, Milton avenue

The Word Bookstore on Milton avenue has been in existence since 1975 and specializes in books on literature, philosophy and poetry. The store first began as an underground bookstore in the basement of it’s owners Adrian and Lucy King-Edwards until they were raided by the cops searching for drugs due to the many people seen coming and going from their home, often at night to attend the regular poetry readings. The store then moved to the present location which had been a Chinese Laundry for the previous 70 years.

Just down the street is the vegetarian Lola Rosa cafe.

Lola Rosa Restaurant, Milton avenue

Lola Rosa Cafe, Milton avenue

Day 38 – Feb 7th 2012

Grande Bibliothèque

Grande Bibliothèque

I ventured down to the Grande Bibliothèque on the corner of Maisonneuve East and Berri. Construction of the new library began in 2001 and was officially opened in April, 2005.

Not long after opening, in June/July, a number of the green glass plates cladding the building shattered, but thankfully the problem seems to have been corrected. The library is free to all residents of Quebec and houses a collection of over 4 million works.

I did manage to grab one shot of the inside entrance hall before a security guard informed me photography was forbidden. Hopefully one day I can get clearance to take some shots inside as the interior has some great HDR potential.

Main entrance of the Grande Bibliothèque

Main entrance of the Grande Bibliothèque

Here are a couple of other shots taken from the rear of the library:

Grande Bibliothèque

Grande Bibliothèque

Grande Bibliothèque with Central bus station on left

Grande Bibliothèque with the Central bus station on left

Day 39 – Feb 8th 2012

Cafe Depot

Cafe Depot

My plan had been to take a picture of the famous Schwartz smoked meat restaurant/diner on blvd Saint Laurent, but there was a van parked outside and I couldn’t get a good angle…one for another day 😉

Instead I ended up walking a huge circle up to Ave du Mont Royal, down rue Saint Denis and back to the corner of Prince Arthur/Saint Laurent where I pretty much started without hardly taking a shot. If nothing else, at least this 365 project is providing me regular exercise!

For the Cafe Depot picture I was torn between the mono version I posted and the color version, or even one without the bus streak, so I will share the others with you here.

Cafe Depot - color version

Cafe Depot - color version

Cafe Depot - without bus

Cafe Depot - without bus

I did take a few other pics in and around Square Saint louis as well, so in the end after wasting an hour, I did come away with a few “keepers”.

Lonesome benches - Square Saint-Louis

Lonesome benches - Square Saint-Louis

Square Saint-Louis toward rue Saint Denis

Square Saint-Louis toward rue Saint Denis

Fountain - Square Saint-Louis

Fountain - Square Saint-Louis

Square Saint-Louis

Square Saint-Louis

Rue Prince Arthur

Rue Prince Arthur

Day 40 – Feb 9th 2012

Casualty of winter

Casualty of winter

Each winter in Montreal bikes are left abandoned by owners after returning to find their 2 wheeled partners have been mauled by the snow removal caterpillars that roam the sidewalks after a storm.

I found these victims within a few blocks of each other – on and around the McGill University campus.

Casualty of winter

Casualty of winter

More casualties of a Montreal winter

More casualties of a Montreal winter

Day 41 – Feb 10th 2012

Two Montreal icons on one photo

Two Montreal icons on one photo

The plan was to grab a shot of the iconic giant milk bottle on rue Lucien L’Allier near the Bell Center, lit by the early morning sun. Unfortunately the sun didn’t want to play ball and I wasn’t able to get the shot that was in my head.

However, walking into La Place du Centenaire at the Bell Center (home of the Montreal Canadiens Hockey team), I found a nice spot that enabled me to capture not only the milk bottle, but another great (if not the greatest) Montreal icon – a statue of Maurice Richard (The Rocket).

Richard played for the Montreal Canadiens in the NHL from 1942 to 1960 and was the most prolific goal scorer of the era, the first player to score 50 goals in 50 games, as well as many more great successes. Richard died on May 27 2000 aged 78, and was given a provincial state funeral that was broadcast live across Canada – the first for an athlete.

His life was portrayed in the great 2005 film – Maurice Richard (released in English as The Rocket: The Maurice Richard Story) starring one of my favorite Quebec actors Roy Dupuis.

The statue is one of 4 bronze sculptures by Marc André J Fortier located on La Place du Centenaire – the other immortalized players being Jean Béliveau, Howie Morenz and Guy LaFleur. I will be doing a separate post in more detail on La Place du Centenaire in the near future.

Back to the milk bottle…

A water reservoir in the form of a giant milk bottle was built on the roof of the Guaranteed Pure Milk dairy building (1930/32) and is constructed out of riveted steel and stands almost 32 feet high and weighs 6 tons.

The iconic landmark had been falling into disrepair after the dairy closed in the 1990’s until it was renovated in 2009.

I took a walk around the block to try and get some other angles. The first 3 below were shot from beside another famous landmark – but one still remaining in decay. The Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine Mansion on Overdale Street was constructed in the 1840’s.

It was home to  Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine, who was the first Prime Minister of the united Canadas following the Union of Lower Canada and Upper Canada in 1841.

I plan to go back once the snow recedes – would love the chance to take some photos from inside, so if anyone knows the new owner, businessman  Kheng Ly, let him know. Thankfully it seems Mr Ly is looking at ways to preserve the building and some of the land .

The giant Guranteed Dairy Milk Bottle

The giant Guranteed Dairy Milk Bottle

The giant Guaranteed Dairy Milk Bottle

The giant Guaranteed Dairy Milk Bottle

The giant Guranteed Dairy Milk Bottle

The giant Guranteed Dairy Milk Bottle

The giant Guaranteed Dairy Milk Bottle

The giant Guaranteed Dairy Milk Bottle

Day 42 – Feb 11th 2012

Montreal Olympic Stadium

Montreal Olympic Stadium

Despite the temperature being around -20 with wind chill, Mont-Royal looked particularly inviting and so decided to take a walk up to the observation area on Voie Camillien Houde to grab a shot of the Montreal Olympic Stadium.

The original image looked a little flat, so I decided to give it some HDR treatment (3 exposures) and further treatment with Topaz Adjust. Maybe over did it a little, but I still find it kind of cool how a shot taken early afternoon in bright sunlight can be altered so radically.

On the way up to the observation area, came across this very friendly guy who was more than happy to pose for a while…I think he wanted some lunch.

 Squirrel enjoying the sun

Squirrel enjoying the sun

Just before reaching the entrance on Ave des Pins Ouest/rue Peel, there’s a small stream. Hard to know you are so close to bustling downtown Montreal.

Mont Royal

Mont Royal opposite rue Peel entrance

The following image was an experiment in zooming…a technique that I would like to develop since I like the abstract feel it gives images. I quite liked how this one came out with the central vertical tree, but I still require some work on my zooming technique.

Enter the forest

Enter the forest

That completes week 6. I realize the weekly 365 project updates have become long posts, so as of tomorrow I plan posting an update each day to see if that works better.

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.

– Martin

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