Updates from September, 2022 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 14:19 on 2022-09-28 Permalink | Reply  

    Atlas Obscura notes in an item published Tuesday that the Paris Métro sign on Victoria Square is the only remaining one with the original Art Nouveau glass globes, Paris having replaced theirs with plastic ones.

    Atlas Obscura has a collection of other items in town, many of which aren’t exactly obscure.

    There’s hardly any local news at the moment – everything’s focused on the impending election.

    • Blork 15:12 on 2022-09-28 Permalink

      So those glass globes are rare, and now we know they’re rare, so it will just be a matter of days before someone steals them.

    • Orr 16:16 on 2022-09-28 Permalink

      The Rutherford Physics Collection have been on my radar for years. Rutherford made one of the greatest discoveries of all time, and is among the greatest experimental physicists. Did not know about the McPherson collection next door. Will make an appointment shortly.
      There is not a lot of Art Nouveau in Montreal. I suspect there must be some original interiors (Westmount is the right age for this) but they must be hidden away behind closed doors, as so much of Art Nouveau was of an interior nature.

    • DeWolf 19:19 on 2022-09-28 Permalink

      There’s so little Art Nouveau in Montreal (at least visible from the outside, as Orr notes) you could probably make a list:

      Godin Building at St-Laurent/Sherbrooke
      Square-Victoria metro entrance
      3849 St-Hubert (corner Napoleon)

      This blog post notes some individual details here and there, but no other buildings:


      There was also this apartment building on Christin just west of St-Denis, a lesser work by the same architect as the Godin Building, but it was demolished in 2019. It had been used as social housing and was in bad enough shape that it was considered unsalvageable. It’s being replaced by an even bigger social housing block but unfortunately the architects didn’t see fit to make any references to the original architecture.


    • Meezly 19:53 on 2022-09-28 Permalink

      Why is there so little Art Nouveau here?

    • Kate 20:27 on 2022-09-28 Permalink

      That’s a good question, Meezly. I think Montreal was more in love with the classic French stuff, Gothic for most of its churches, Second Empire for the original city hall. The Monument-National, just north of Chinatown, was built between 1891 and 1894, and in a European capital it might have had Art Nouveau flair, but it’s solidly Renaissance Revival in style.

      About the only building I can think of that’s really Art Nouveau here is the Godin building that’s now part of the Opus Hotel at St‑Laurent and Sherbrooke. J.A. Godin also designed the Appartements Riga building which was lightly A.N. in feeling, but was demolished in 2019.

      You can see on Alexis Hamel’s page about Godin that he designed several other buildings here that haven’t any A.N. feel about them at all. The vibe just didn’t land here. We did better with Art Deco.

      (Oh, I see DeWolf also answered some of these questions before I did!)

      DeWolf: whoever put up that dismal gray brick box next to 3849 St-Hubert ought to have had their architecture licence taken away.

      Meezly, another interesting question is why there are Art Nouveau buildings in Latin American cities, but almost none here.

    • jackruttan 11:29 on 2022-09-29 Permalink

      There’s also the Herboristerie Desjardins Inc. at 3303, rue Sainte-Catherine E. I’d post a link to an image, but worry about violating some obscure internet rule.

    • Kate 14:29 on 2022-09-29 Permalink

      The only rule, jackruttan, is that new commenters can’t post links – this is to exclude spammers. It’s a rule that’s default in WordPress.

      But that’s an interesting building, especially since the second and third floors are quite plain. Here’s a Streetview link. Thank you.

    • thomas 18:11 on 2022-09-29 Permalink

      Architecture in USA and especially Canada was fairly conservative at that time and so it took a while before trends in Europe caught on. Furthermore, Art Nouveau as an architectural movement was cut short by the advent of WWI. Shortages and lack of capital resulting from WWI are the reason the art nouveau buildings of Godin used such cheap materials and didn’t age well. Argentina was a different case because at that time it was one of the wealthiest parts of the world with excess money to spend on such projects.

    • Ian 19:30 on 2022-09-29 Permalink

      Perhaps a big part of it was that at the time that Art Nouveau was popular, the “big” Montreal architects were into Beaux-Arts style a lot more. Think Ross & McFarlane/ Ross & McDonald or Cormier.

      There was some Arts & Crafts stuff going on too but the Art Nouveau jam wasn’t super present here. Maybe part of it is the materials, too. Godin was experimenting with concrete but a lot of the famous Art Nouveau is wood and metalwork that might not be super appropriate to our climate.

    • DeWolf 12:30 on 2022-09-30 Permalink

      I was reminded yesterday that the Archambault building at Berri/Ste-Catherine has an Art Nouveau entrance at the corner. Interestingly, the building opened in 1930, so it’s a good example of Montreal (and Canada generally) being way behind architectural trends.


  • Kate 11:58 on 2022-09-28 Permalink | Reply  

    The STM was so short of drivers in mid-August that they had to disallow able companions from riding with passengers in adapted transit. They’re now allowing them again with the warning that there may be delays.

    There’s also news this week that Exo is coping with a shortage of drivers that’s messing with its bus schedules off-island.

    • Kate 11:42 on 2022-09-28 Permalink | Reply  

      Quebec’s immigration minister has just been quoted thus: 80% of immigrants go to Montreal, do not work, do not speak French or do not adhere to the values of Quebec society.

      • Ephraim 12:01 on 2022-09-28 Permalink

        And did any single reporter ask him for the source of his data? Did they?

      • SMD 12:26 on 2022-09-28 Permalink

        It was during a local debate last week. La Presse has the actual stats.

      • steph 15:46 on 2022-09-28 Permalink

        Ugh, gross comment by are very own immigration minister
        But he did say “or”, not “and” (“ou” pas “et”). 80% of immigrants go to Montreal, do not work, do not speak French or do not adhere to the values of Quebec society.
        It may be technically accurate that 80% of immigrants adhere to ONE of those catigories. Gross intent regardless.

      • Kate 16:48 on 2022-09-28 Permalink

        Corrected, thank you, steph.

        I love how go to Montreal is offensive to Mr Boulet.

      • carswell 18:31 on 2022-09-28 Permalink

        Professions to the contrary, Legualt is censoring him not for the message but for the embarrassment, for saying out loud what a lot of he and a lot of CAQistes and company think. Hard to keep denying there’s no systemic racism, immigrants aren’t unwelcome and Montreal isn’t fundamentally evil when your cabinet members stray off message.

      • Michael 22:59 on 2022-09-28 Permalink

        “l’argent et des votes ethniques”

        They haven’t forgotten this rallying cry.

      • M 11:58 on 2022-09-29 Permalink

        My theory that nearly every minister hates the population their assigned to legislate is depressingly validated …

      • Uatu 16:26 on 2022-09-29 Permalink

        Just remember immigrants, you can’t say anything back because that would be Quebec bashing.

    • Kate 10:07 on 2022-09-28 Permalink | Reply  

      A human chain was created Tuesday along Sherbrooke near McGill to honour those killed in recent unrest in Iran.

      • Blork 12:04 on 2022-09-28 Permalink

        The CBC reporter on the scene yesterday described the protest as resulting from Mahsa Amini’s death after being detained by the Iranian “mortality police,” which I think is the best Freudian slip I’ve ever heard.

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