It's safe to say that 2020 has been a year of ups and, well... downs. One such memory that comes to mind is the Montreal whale that made an appearance in the Old Port before its sudden departure from the waters. Although its visit was short, this animal made a lasting impression on our city.
Géraldine Laurendeau, a Montreal-based multidisciplinary artist, has created a sculpture piece called Cétacé,Mémoire de baleine, along with a poem, written in French, detailing the artist's interpretation of "a humpback whale coming back to meet its ancestors."
This call for the project was the perfect occasion to connect the present with the past and talk about endangered species, a subject which I've been working on for a while.
The fact that the humpback whale came further into the St. Lawrence this summer gave me an opportunity to underline the impacts of human activities on our environment and how these transformations have consequences for biodiversity. The loss affects especially large mammals like whales.
Cétacé is also a way to talk about the constant modification of our landscapes, which also happens in nature. Landscapes, as we see them, have not always been the same. Understanding that should help us accept that it will transform in the future.
Do we have a part to play in that change, as humans? Obviously, the answer is yes.
In these changing landscapes, migratory animals are forced to adapt, some do well, but some get more in trouble. Whales have intelligence and they have their own reasons to do what they do, and we don't fully understand them.
They, as much as we, should have a safe place to live and we should care for them.
What do you hope people feel when they see the artwork?
I hope they feel empathy for these animals. I hope it can help raise awareness.
I also hope that people will be curious and do research to learn more about whales and other sea mammals. I hope they let their imagination go free and create their own stories, develop their own reflection, search for solutions...
More importantly, I hope humans will sharpen acuteness when looking at the world around them, and develop their sensibility towards all living beings that are part of it.
How long did it take to create? How many people were involved in its creation?
From selection to installation, we had about one month to design, build and assemble the piece on site. I often work alone, but for larger projects, like this one, I had three collaborators who brought their expertise at different stages of the process.
I wish this piece could travel and be exhibited somewhere else in November or later. It would fit well in a gallery, a park, a museum, or even a garden!
But for now, since there is nowhere else to be exhibited, I plan to bring it back to the studio to serve as a base for experimenting further.
Yes, it's a long weekend! Three uninterrupted days to relax, have fun, and not think for two seconds about things like school or work, or other responsibilities until Tuesday morning. Not to be too depressing but it will be six weeks before we get another official long weekend.
But let's focus on the positive! This is usually one of the summer weekends that people are trying to pack in their last days of camping or chalet time. But if you're planning to stay in the city it's good to know what's open and what's closed so you can plan out your Labour Day weekend.
Labour Day falls on Monday, September 2 this year. The good news is the city doesn't stop being its fun self. There are still a ton of things to do. Most of Montreal's museums are all open if you're looking for a little culture. As are the beaches, La Ronde and the casino.
And phew, the majority of SAQ express locations are also open so you don't have to stock up on alcohol today.
If you're planning to get around the city by public transit, double-check the schedule as the STM operates on holiday schedules and it might impact your normal route. Check out their website here.
If you're planning to hit any stores or eat at a restaurant, it's best to call first to check hours. So let's take a look at what's open.
SAQ Express stores will have normal hours. But all but three SAQ classic stores will be closed.
311, the city of Montreal’s information hotline
Hospitals and emergency services
Dépanneurs and pharmacies
Most bars and clubs
Some restaurants (this can really be hit and miss as a lot of restaurants aren't open Mondays anyway so make sure to call) and pubs
Hotels & resorts
Small grocery stores (less than 4,037-sq-ft in size)
Swimming pools and sports centres remain open with reduced hours
Montreal Casino (the business that never sleeps)
Pointe-à-Callière, Montreal’s museum of history and archeology
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
What's open continued...
Montreal Botanical Gardens and the Gardens of Light
Montreal Science Centre and IMAX Theatre
Public and farmers’ markets (like Atwater and Jean-Talon)
Parking meters (yep you will still have to pay)
Garbage and recycling pickups stay on schedule (there are isolated exceptions)
What we love about potholes here at MTL Blog is that they provide us with an endless number of stories to share. Readers are constantly sending us photos of their favourite holes in the road. Not only that but we've become friends with many potholes around the city.
We see them every day doing their very best to make us late to work and to destroy our wheels so it's about time we give them some love!
If you think you've seen a more beautiful pothole than these, send them into @MTLBlog on Instagram with the hashtag: #montrealsprettiestpothole!
TL;DR We voted and MTLBlog has finally found some candidates for the city's prettiest pothole. Welcome to Montreal's very first Pothole Beauty Pageant 2019! #montrealsprettiestpothole
What's not to love about potholes? Whenever you encounter one in Montreal (they're everywhere!) they also make our days better by exploding our tires or flipping us over our bike's handlebars. Sometimes, they even twist our ankles, sso not even pedestrians can escape they're impact!
Here are the nominees for Montreal's prettiest pothole!
This one found in a Walmart parking lot has all the makings of a great pothole.
The sharp edges and standing water make it a perfect pothole, plus I love those little crumbly bits that show what a big boy pothole it's bound to grow to be.
Even puppers love potholes! This good boy is warning his owner of a potential broken ankle by standing in this pothole and checking it out.
I'm not sure if he's trying to drink the melted snow water... or if those are people's accumulated tears.
Ah, the classic pothole minefield. Why have one pothole when you can have six?!
Good luck escaping this one unscathed! Location: somewhere in Ville St. Laurent.
If you thought those were good, wait until you see these ones...
Fashion can transcend time and space. No one knows this better than vintage clothing aficionados. Vintage lovers rejoice because Flohmarkt Vintage Pop-Ups is hosting the biggest vintage pop-up shop Montreal has ever seen!
With Flohmarkt Vintage Pop-Ups, you never have to worry about finding the perfect piece because they have everything! Since March 2018, this independently operated pop-up boutique is one of the best vintage clothing markets in the city. You simply can't miss this Flohmarkt event happening at the former Urban Outfitters on St-Denis!
TL;DR On April 13 + 14 and April 27 + 28, fans of vintage clothing won't have to scour the city for that perfect piece. Flohmarkt Vintage Pop-Ups, Montreal's finest vintage pop-up boutique, is hosting their largest-ever pop-up event in the former St-Denis Urban Outfitters location.
Since March 2018, Alex Mondry and her team have worked tirelessly to bring you the best vintage pop-up events. If you've ever been to Flohmarkt, you know that you can expect expert vintage curators. What's awesome about Flohmarkt is that each vendor operates independently, meaning that your money supports local small businesses.
Flohmarkt is the perfect place for you to find that jacket, dress, shirt, and even accessory that matches your unique personality. Vintage shopping is often intimidating and shoppers can get easily discouraged if they don't find the right piece. At Flohmarkt, you'll never have to worry about that!
From clothing and outerwear and to accessories and shoes, Flohmarkt has got you covered. Have you been trying to find the perfect hat to complete that hipster dad look? That's a guarantee.
Keep in mind that some vendors might not have changing rooms, so be sure to return all items to their booths if you don't buy! Make sure to come as early as possible to get first dibs on the best stuff! This is a can't-miss event!
Flohmarkt Vintage Pop-Ups hosts the largest vintage pop-up event in Montreal on April 13 + 14 and April 27 + 28. For full details, click here!