We love Montreal there's no doubt about it, but as Montrealers we love our city like a mother loves her child. We tend to ignore the flaws and focus on the good and we would bite the head off anyone who tries to talk shit about it. But maybe we should take a step back too see what tourists think of our city.

Dr. Shamiel McFarlane recently wrote for the Suburban about her short trip to Montreal. Her expectations were pretty high (which I guess is a good thing) but when she got here she was disappointed. She claims that when she arrived at the airport there were no English pamphlets. If this is true then that's a problem, but my first thought was: "Who the hell still uses pamphlets?"

After hailing a cab, she made her way downtown presumably going through highway 20. That's when the disappointment began:

"the decay of the infrastructure; the roads, bridges, pavements. I was aghast....and this is coming from a girl who comes from a third world country"

That's pretty sad, and I'm inclined to agree with her. I worked on Cote-de-Liesse near the airport and for almost 5 years and every time I drove through the area all I kept thinking was: "Is this really the first thing people have to look at when they first arrive here?" There is work being done on the interchange near the airport to make it prettier but that project has been ongoing for almost 5 years now and it's still not done. Plus even it was done, it's a drop in the bucket, everything surrounding the area still looks like shit.

After she got to her hotel she went down to the Old Port and found it charming even though there was a lot of garbage everywhere (if you've been there recently, you know it's true). But in the end it was everything she was promised and she was not disappointed. Which leads us to her truest point in the article:

"So here it is, a juxtaposition of the old world and new yet the old world, in my opinion, has been given far better care than the new."

And that's the sad truth none of us can deny. The tourist hot-spots are pretty and the historical parts of Montreal are being preserved and maintained, but it seems like everything else is being left to crumble.

Check out the Suburban for the full article



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