Screen shot 2011-07-18 at 2.32.06 PM.pngNorth east of Montreal, Saguenay citizens have started a campaign for secular government. In an attempt to preserve the community's Catholic history, Mayor Jean Tremblay has been reciting prayers at the beginning of council meetings. He defends his actions by saying: "[I think the community is behind me]" (translated by author). In response, citizens have posted a video on youtube expressing their dissent.
 
What do you think? Does religion really have no place in government? Are these symbols safest as part of our past?

Image source: Flickr.


Read more from the globe and mail: http://bit.ly/flE4TH

Festivals

| 99 Comments

Pictureoftheday_small.jpgMarch has a lot of amazing events to attend including St. Patrick's Day parade on March 20th, the International Film Festival of Art from March 17-27, and Voix d'Ameriques starting on March 11th. With Spring fast approaching, which festivals and events are you most looking forward to? What about festivals in the summer?

Photo Credit: Denis Carl

Ice Skating in Montreal

| 115 Comments

3190120519_85efcd2fb7.jpgIce skating is an age-old tradition in Montreal and there are many options for partaking in this much-loved activity. There are both indoor and outdoor rinks available all over the city such as The Quays Skating Rink or Atrium Le 1000 de la Gauchetière. There are also several free outdoor rinks, such as the one found in Notre Dame de Grace Park. Have you gone skating this winter? Where do you like to go?

 

 

Photo Credit Karl Baron

Nuit Blanche

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3331759657_8cb5ab77a2.jpgThis weekend marked the 8th annual Nuit Blanche in Montreal. If you haven't heard of it before, Nuit Blanche is a day and night of festivities commemorating arts and performances around the city. Galleries, museums and other such venues are open all night long, which you can visit for free. STM also keeps metros and busses open in order to ensure safe travel. Visit the official website for more information.

 

 

 

Did you participate in Nuit Blanche this or any other year? What did you see? What did you like most?

 

Photo credit: Esther Gibbons

Parks and Recreation

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841985760_74f4138064.jpgAs Spring gets nearer, the time spent outdoors increases tenfold. Which parks in Montreal do you visit most often and why? To enjoy a walk? to exercise with your yoga class? To sit and read? Some parks, such as Notre Dame de Grace park or Westmount park even have water fountains to cool off and splash around in. What do you like to do? 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit Pembleton 

Keeping Fit

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5103846910_3dc872f33d_o.jpgWhat do you do to keep fit and active?

Whether it be biking to school, hiking

Mount Royal on a sunny day or

attending fitness classes at your local

YMCA, what do you do to keep yourself

healthy?

 

 

photo credit:  Roger Wollstadt

Screen shot 2011-02-12 at 9.37.46 AM.pngA Monster by Montreal's David Altmejd Art is an integral part of life in Montreal. The city has a plethora of art galleries with engaging shows that are always coming and going, big and small. Has anyone been to any good ones recently? Or maybe you saw a single work that was particularly enticing? Montrealites would love to hear what you're interested in.

Romantic Valentine's Dinner

| 117 Comments
Screen shot 2011-02-09 at 12.00.47 AM.pngMontreal offers a multitude of ways to celebrate the romantic day.. Should you choose, instead, to opt for a more private celebration of your love and affection I have put together a menu for a very romantic dinner for two.  I have planned the dining, the rest is in your hands. Celebrated in whatever fashion pleases you. If you have time, please share some of your favourite romantic recipes.

Romantic Valentine's Dinner for Two

Antipasto Plate

 Scallops Mornay                  Buttered Asparagus

 Toasted Garlic French Slices

Classic Tortoni

White Wine            Coffee




Please follow this link for the recipes: Romantic Dinner Recipes.

Parking in Montreal, Pain or Pleasure?

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Screen shot 2011-02-12 at 9.42.28 AM.pngHaving recently taken over the habitat section of the website, I would like to include a section on parking in Montreal. Since it took me more than one try to figure out the wonderful parking signs in the city I figured it would be a good section to include for newcomers. What I am wondering is does anyone have any adventures they would like to share about finding parking in the city? Or any complaints they wish to voice? If there is anything you would like to see included in this section, please let me know.

Flickr Image


The Beaux Arts- What art form most interests you?

| 104 Comments
Screen shot 2011-01-20 at 10.52.09 PM.pngAs you may have all noticed, there is a section on this website dedicated to Montreal's brilliant and distinct world of art. We want to know what is your favourite form of art? Is it visual art, dance, graphic design, theater?

The list goes on, but to best suit our readers, we want to hear from you! Let us know what type of articles you would like to see in the Beaux Arts Section of this website! We're open to anything!




image credits: Flickr Creative Commons: Mariobraune

Date Ideas

| 123 Comments
Screen shot 2011-02-02 at 10.05.37 AM.pngWhat are some fun and unique ideas for dates around Montreal?

Screen shot 2011-01-29 at 5.50.43 PM.pngHello Montreal!

We're looking to hear about your experiences with the Montreal Police. In a city with an annual anti police brutality riot there have got to be some strong opinions. Good or bad, how do you rate the city's boys in blue? Tell us why.



Image source: Flickr, 2008.

Best & Worst of Montreal

| 122 Comments

Thumbnail image for Screen shot 2011-02-10 at 6.19.03 PM.pngMontreal is one of the richest cities with one of the largest mosaics of cultures and ethnicities. That being said, all these cultures and ethnicities translate into a wealth of food related topics from the obvious, Restaurants, but becomes more specific when seeking out some of the more unique items such as Patties, Croissants, Sushi, Bagels, Dim Sum or Cheesecakes.

Each week I will ask you to cast your vote for the best and/or worst of Montreal. The best is not too difficult to come up with but the worst poses a multitude of challenges. I ask that you refrain from anything too controversial, don't make it personal and bear in mind that this is a poll based on a matter of taste.

Considering the time of year I thought it might be the ideal time to ask you to weigh in on a subject near and dear to the hearts of millions . . . CHOCOLATE !! Ok all you chocoholics, where can you find the best or worst? Which specific boutique or a department store? Handmade or mass produced?

With Valentines Day quickly approaching you will be providing a welcome and much needed service to all those looking for the perfect solution for finding what are just right for the loves in their lives and help steer them away from the worst.

Come on Montreal . . . let us all know your well kept secrets!


Image source: Flickr, 2007.

Montreal Living

| 68 Comments

Screen shot 2011-01-29 at 5.55.35 PM.pngAs the new editor of Montrealites Living section, I've decided to compile a list of possible topics to be written on. I'm also open to hearing your suggestions, what would you like to read or write about?




My wishlist of subjects include:

- the French and English languages in one place and its benefits and disadvantages

- Inexpensive activities such as outdoor skating rinks for winter and swimming pools for the summer heat

- Nuit Blanche: what it is, what you can do, etc.

- nightlife- local fun at night, something of interest such as a jazz club, a themed bar etc.

Please feel free to add to this list, I will be doing the same.


Image source: Flickr, 2010.

Final Exam Stress

| 61 Comments
Screen shot 2011-01-12 at 1.15.31 AM.pngThe final exam season is upon us and students from every University, CEGEP (which, for the uninitiated, is the Quebec equivalent of a college) and trade school are scrambling to hand in their term assignments while preparing for exams. Stress levels are high and days are long while patience is low and fuses are short. Everyone needs a way to deal with stress. Personally, a few good, deep breaths (two seconds in the nose, four seconds out the mouth - eyes closed!) work in the short term, but an hour of personal time reserved for the end of every day works wonders in the long run. What are your best stress management strategies? Share away.

Image source: Flickr, 2006, Stress.

Where Do You Work Out?

| 62 Comments
Screen shot 2011-01-29 at 5.57.15 PM.pngWhether you love Le Gym at Concordia, have a membership at a high-class gym downtown, visit your neighborhood YMCA, or do pilates in your livingroom, where do you like to work out?

Image source: Flickr, 2007.

Where do you go for a day trip?

| 124 Comments
Screen shot 2011-01-12 at 1.20.24 AM.pngMontreal is a wonderful and vibrant place to live. But sometimes people want to escape from the city's noise and action. There are quite a few places right off the island, or even on the island, to go to be in the open space and unwind. Where's your favourite place to get away?

Image source: Flickr, A Walk in the Woods, 2009.


The Best Study Spot

| 54 Comments
As finals approach, I always find myself scrambling to find the perfect couch to spend the day finishing all my assignments and studying for exams. Where is your favorite place to study or get work done? At a library or somewhere else on campus? At your local coffee shop? at home?

Screen shot 2011-01-12 at 1.29.17 AM.png

Image source: Flickr, Study Session 2005.


Québécois Comic Heroes!

| 55 Comments
Screen shot 2011-02-15 at 4.04.25 PM.pngBande dessinée québécoise (BDQ) or comic art québécois dates back to the late 19th century and has experienced several revival periods. Illustrating true stories of Montreal through graphic art might be a fitting way to convey the gritty urban life experienced by Montrealites.

Describe an adventure that you have experienced in Montreal that is worthy of comic strip immortalization. Transform this real event into a mythic one. Imagine yourself as a comic book hero. What would you name this character? Describe his or her overall appearance, including dress and features, and colloquial expressions. Les Adventures de Iggi Frances!

Ultimately, we want to illustrate a French hero navigating the murky waters of having to explain the mysterious life of Montreal to an anglophone; it will result in the creation of a new BDQ, primarily in the french language.

Burqas, Niqabs and Chadors- Oh My!

| 50 Comments
Screen shot 2011-01-12 at 1.35.00 AM.pngThe French parliament has claimed the reasons behind the recent ban on wearing Burqas is to "ensure the dignity of the person and equality between sexes [...] this practice, even if it is voluntary, cannot be tolerated in any public place," (1). Last night a few of my girlfriends and I rented the second Sex and the City movie - terrible by the way, don't bother with it. In this movie, if you haven't seen it, Carrie and the girls take a trip to Abu Dhabi. Although the women there don't wear the burqa, which covers the entire body and head including the eyes, they don a similar garment called the niqab, which covers everything but their eyes. Carrie watches as a woman eats french fries by lifting up her veil for each bite. Throughout the movie, there are many pointed jokes and comments about the conservative culture which I found somewhat shocking. I also found the men to be portrayed as horribly oppressive and unable- or unwilling- to grasp the concept of women's rights. In the end, I interpreted the movie to be about the empowerment of women, regardless of culture, but still a sad commentary on women's lives in the Middle East.

My question is, what do you think of these types of total-body covering? Do you think of it as oppressive? Or do you respect it? What do you think of France's ban? Do you think it is a step towards gender equality or a statement of racism against the Middle East?

Volunteering

| 60 Comments
Screen shot 2011-02-15 at 4.00.34 PM.pngMany people (and some animals and places) depend on the generosity of others. Since starting to work with an non-profit organization two and a half years ago, I began to realize just how many charities and non-profit groups exist in Montreal. I've gained valuable skills through my work and found it to be a great place to learn about myself. Do any of you volunteer somewhere? Do you volunteer with more than one organization? What got you interested in volunteering where you do? Why do you volunteer? If you don't volunteer, why not? Or if you just never got around to it, where or what kind of volunteering would you be interested in?

Screen shot 2011-01-12 at 1.27.16 AM.png Estrogen plays a significant role in women's mental health, one that is more far-reaching than the fact that we have breasts!

Up until twenty years ago people thought that estrogen receptors and estrogen itself only acted in that part of the brain thats important for sex and reproduction. Now we know that those receptors are everywhere up in the cortex -prefrontal cortex-- and probably playing a huge role in cognition.For instance, estrogen causes dramatic changes in the brain. It can increase the number of synapses in the hippocampus by up to 20% - 30% when estrogen peaks, but then it strips it all away soon after. There's this incredible plasticity in the brain that is caused by this hormone, an anatomical plasticity. However most of what professionals know and have studied in neuroanatomy or neuroscience, are information attained about the male brain. The female brain is still a bit of a mystery. All bets are off.

Common misconceptions on female hormone fluctuations...

What do you think estrogen is for?


Image source: Flickr,Like a Flower, 2009.

 

Up next: What you didn't know about the history of oral concraceptives!

Where do you like to get your Morning Cup?

| 71 Comments
Screen shot 2011-01-12 at 1.24.14 AM.pngI have been an avid coffee drinker since the age of 16 and I recently did some research on Starbucks vs Independent coffee shops.Many people tell me they are indifferent on the issue, and they would go to both. I was wondering where people get their morning cup of coffee, or their daily buzz? Are independent coffee shops more appealing to you? Do you feel that Starbucks is too corporate? Do you have a favourite local coffee shop? Who makes the best latte, cappuccino, machiatto? What is your drink of choice?

Image source: Flickr, Capucino-Chocolate, 2006.
Screen shot 2011-02-15 at 3.49.02 PM.pngMontreal has a reputation for going all out on Halloween. What are your plans this year? Sort through your memories, and describe the best Montreal halloween experience of your life. The worst? Do you have any tips or advice to make it extra fun?

Image Source: Flickr, Smoke Tinged Halloween, 2007.


Screen shot 2011-02-15 at 3.18.49 PM.pngI have lived all over the island and south shore, but currently I live in Griffintown/Little Burgundy. St. Cunegonde de la Petite Bourgogne is the parish name. Montreal neighbourhoods have names from the past parish lines, federal and provincial political districts and local lore. Griffintown was built for Irish immigrants who worked on the Lachine Canal. It was destroyed by Mayor Jean Drapeau in a slum-clearing project in preparation for Expo 67. It covers the area of lower downtown from the Lachine Canal to St. Antoine, roughly from Mountain Street to Atwater. The canal is now a wonderful place to walk, bike or have a picnic. In thepast it was a place of heavy industry and poverty. The city has done of wonderful job of remaking a disused area. We can walk to the suburb of Lachine or to the Old Port. Atwater Market is just off the canal and is a great place to pick up food. Little Burgundy has a tough reputation. It is a hard place to grow up. It has the highest proportion of single-parent families in the city. There is quite a lot of youth gang activity but there is little or no crime against local residents. In Montreal, random violence is rare but if you are involved in criminal activity, you have a higher likelihood of being hurt. Kids are being killed in this 'hood but it is still rare. The great thing is that Griffintown/Little Burgundy is that it is a five minute walk from Concordia, down Guy Street. It used to be called Lowertown because it is at the bottom of Mount Royal. We are close to everything: metros, buses, downtown, canal and parks. The talk of housing development in Griffintown is frightening. We came here to find a peaceful place to live without the gentrification which has plagued other parts of the downtown area. If you are looking for something to do with your free time between classes, I invite you to come down the hill and explore the 'hood. You'll be pleasantly surprised. Sometimes the reputation that a neighbourhood has, is undeserved.

Image source: Flickr, Aerial Rendering Griffintown, 2007.

Fun on a Student Budget

| 76 Comments
Screen shot 2011-02-15 at 3.54.29 PM.pngWe all know that Montreal is a huge university city, which means there is a huge student population. What is your favourite inexpensive thing to do, and why do you enjoy it? Is it seasonal, if so when? What do you like to do for inexpensive, student-budget date? Are there any other cost-effective, fun ideas you would like to share?

Image source: Flickr, Ani Difranco-Club Soda Montreal, 2010.

Eating for Pleasure

| 142 Comments
Screen shot 2011-02-15 at 3.55.23 PM.pngWhen you are hungry, really hungry, what is the first restaurant that pops into your mind? Where is the restaurant located? What is like inside? What dish do you want to order? How will it look and taste?


Image source: Flickr, Restaurant Greenspot, 2010.

Screen shot 2011-02-15 at 3.56.30 PM.pngWhat is your fondest memory of school? Describe with detail the experience and how it changed you. What rule did you have the hardest time following? Why? If you wore a uniform, how did you cope, own or engineer your look? Evaluate your school on a scale of 1 to 10, explain. If someone were to attend this school, what advice do have for them?

Image source: Flickr, Montreal School Bus, 2008.

Montreal Transplant?

| 64 Comments
Screen shot 2011-02-15 at 3.45.46 PM.pngIf you are a transplant, explain why you moved to Montreal, what you like about the city, and what was the most difficult experience you had while making the adjustment?

























Image source: Flickr, Papeles para todos 2006.


Coping with Hunger

| 65 Comments
Screen shot 2010-10-17 at 5.56.36 PM.pngWhere do you live? Where do you buy food?  Include both markets and grocery stores. What is your favorite place to buy groceries? Why do you shop there What do you like to buy and prepare? What is the best item in this store? What is the worst aspect about shopping at your favorite store?

Image source: Flickr, Atwater Market, 2007