Montreal Visit – Day 1 QC/NB Trip

This is the first of a series of postings on our recent Quebec-New Brunswick road trip.

IMG_3285For sometime now we have wanted to go back to Montreal and visit some old haunts.  Well this was the year.  We drove to Montreal stopping first at 6815 Sherbrooke Street W (near Cavendish) to see Dave’s grandmother’s apartment building.  Nana as we called her, lived here from about 1954 to 84.  Dave has fond memories of visiting her here as a child.  I can still smell the clean soapy smell of her apartment and that particular musty smell of the lobby as you entered.  To us Montreal was a big city then and now.  I remember marvelling at the buses, the traffic and the excitement of it all.  “Hatwatter” (with the accent on the last syllable) the bus drivers used to announce at Atwater Ave on our way downtown.

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The balcony of the left was hers, very cool at the time.

The pedestrian tunnel‎ under Sherbrooke to the park across the street is long gone. I remember loving at it as a kid – imagine walking under the roadway above?   The big swings in the park that I so much enjoyed, have been replaced with a play structure and little kiddy swings.  Trains still whistle by at one end like I recall.  It is a peaceful fun place that I will always remember.

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Next we drove to mom’s house on Beaconsfield Ave in NDG where she grew up and then to her church, Knox Kensington Presbyterian, a few blocks away.  We then headed for Mount Royal Cemetery.  Luckily I had brought the plot number and we found Papa and Nana Ward’s gravesite quickly.

 

Ward family circa 1930

Dave’s Grandmother Mary, Uncle Charlie, mom Mary, Uncle Bud and Papa Ward, c. 1930

Before we went to our AirB&B apt on rue Hotel de Ville, we toured St. Joseph’s Oratory.  Dave forgot his sunglasses there right after the picture below was taken lol.

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We were lucky and found found free parking on the street as host David greeted us warmly in front of the AirB&B.   He was very helpful and recommended some good restaurants and sites to see. There was no A/C nor did the TV work.  We had fans and as we were not there to watch TV, all was fine. That night we strolled to Old Montreal, just a few blocks away and had a great dinner of wine and nachos at Jardin Nelson, right beside the jazz trio – great!

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Montreal is truly an exciting city to visit or live in. There is a cosmopolitan vibe you don’t find in many other places. This time I used my rusty French and people responded in French!  The lack of French is not an impediment as nearly everyone speaks English, and many other languages too.

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After a pit stop at Ben and Gerry’s in Place Jacques Cartier, we headed home for the night after a great day one!

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