The former prison camp now houses a history museum
World War II ended nearly 70 years ago but to this day, many little known facts about the local repercussions of the war remain under wraps. Throughout Canada and the United States, thousands of people were held prisoner in internment camps for months, even years, often simply because of their origins or religious beliefs. In Montreal, the fort of Ile-Sainte-Hélène was turned into an internment camp for up to 401 men between July 1940 and October 31st 1943.
Located in the neighborhood of Little Italy, the church of Madonna Della Difesa is but one among a large number of churches in Montreal, which has acquired the nickname of “City of 100 Bell Towers.” What sets this particular church apart, other than its impressive Romanesque architecture, is the fact that one of the frescoes depicts former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.
Through current technologies and the widespread use of social media, real-life public speaking has become a bit of a lost art. People used to congregate in city squares in order to share their opinions and to debate. Instead, they now use social media. With that in mind, Montreal multimedia firm Moment Factory designed a new art installation called Megaphone, located in Downtown Montreal through November 4th, that mixes both old school public speaking and modern technologies.
Every travel guidebook covering Montreal mentions the Underground City (a must see, they say). Due to it’s evocative name, visitors often get here expecting to discover an actual fully-formed city developed under Montreal’s street level. Known to locals as RÉSO (for réseau, french word for network), the Underground City’s first interconnected sections were built in 1962. When the Montreal subway started operating in 1966, additional connections were made. Today, more than 20 miles of tunnels span the system. (more…)
Mosaika Art & Design, Ceramic mosaic, 2005, Place des arts metro station (Green line)
It is an art gallery visited by millions each year, yet only a few people actually take the time to look at the art that adorns its walls. Like the New York City transit system, the Montreal subway system is full of commissioned art work. Each of the 68 stations is decorated in a unique manner and numerous works of art are integrated on the subway platforms, staircases and crossing points.
Ruelle Verte between 30th and 31st avenues, Bélanger street and Bellechasse street
The lack of parks and greenery is a common issue in the urban planning of big cities around the world. This is often due to a shortage of space. Different solutions are being developed, like green roofs, sidewalk gardens and pocket parks. In Montreal, many of the city’s districts have been working to solve these deficiencies by creating Ruelles vertes (green alleyways).
Montreal has more than 280 miles in alleyways hiding between the city’s tightly packed buildings. Prior to the creation of the Ruelles Vertes project, they were largely underused and served almost exclusively for local car circulation and for garbage disposal. (more…)