City of Mary, City of Sin and City of Wonder

By Robert Duthie
Screen shot 2021-07-13 at 5.31.02 PM.png

Image source: Flickr.

The city of Montreal, in all its grander and splendour opens its arms and extends a welcome to outsiders who have come to take part in the city's atmosphere. Outsiders, visitors and friends who come on pilgrimage, business, or vacation can easily open up to the vastness of indulgence that Montreal offers. However it has become increasingly obvious that Montreal has developed a title as "party city." The city itself has become a pretty nasty place for a bender; leaving your head swelled with thick blood pulsating through the anvil in your temples. But one should ask themselves where the notion of party central comes from? And if it is truly authentic  to the city of Montreal.

It is interesting to think of Montreal as a party city when historically Montreal was originally named after the mother of Christ. Ville Marie or City of Mary was settled by a majority of French speaking Catholics, however today the city takes its name from the triple peaked mountain that is situated at the heart of the landscape. Mount Royal holds a defining role in the city's name; however remnants of the French Catholic church are still noticeably seen in the churches and basilicas that reside in the cities concrete and glass foliage like monoliths to the past. Mark Twain once said that "this is the first time I was ever in a city where you couldn't throw a brick without breaking a church window" and he was right. The city was at one time dominated by the ideals of the Catholic Church and Montreal itself directly reflected this notion. The churches, the basilicas, the Grey nuns, St Josephs Oratory, St Mary's hospital, Catholic schools and the Sunday morning service dominated the city's influence with connotations of near puritanical values. However, time corroded the strong presence of the church and the functioning ideals of Catholicism slowly deteriorated in the silence of a quite revolution.

Continue reading....

Leave a comment