Montreal has a very distinct vibe and unique style. At least in today's world, but in 1955 it looked completely different. The neon signs that lined the streets of downtown made it look like Vegas or at the very least Atlantic City. One of the first things that hits everyone when looking at vintage photos of Montreal is how it looks so very ... American.
This picture is a perfect example. It was taken in 1955 at the Verdun Motor Corporation on Wellington Street. If I didn't know this was taken in Montreal I'd swear this was just some random American car dealership. I wonder how many of those cars are still cruising around today?
There's a little bit of holiday magic in every nook and cranny of Montreal. Verdun's "Enchanted Alley" is back again this year off rue Wellington with a whole new setup.
While last year the alley took the form of a forest walk up to the charming façade of a log cabin, organizers opted for a cozy interior scene for the 2021 season. Visitors will now find a large (faux) fireplace complete with a Christmas tree and a big red chair.
Promenade Wellington has once again enlisted the talents of photographer Caroline Perron to host weekend photoshoot sessions. The sessions are by reservation only and take place between 10:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
The next block of reservations, for shoots on December 18 and 19, opens on December 14. Montrealers can sign up online.
But you can still visit the alley if you're unable to book a professional photoshoot.
A Promenade Wellington spokesperson confirmed to MTL Blog that the alley is open to the public outside of the photoshoot session hours.
There's more to see on Wellington this year too.
The centrepiece of local festivities is a 35-foot fir tree, but Promenade Wellington promises decorative shop windows up and down the commercial street.
There are also surprise chorus performances, the last of which is on December 19.
Of course, Verdun isn't the only place to spot festive backdrops. The Christmas markets at the Atwater and Jean-Talon markets and in the Quartier des Spectacles are approaching their final days.
Get all the details on Wellington's Enchanted Alley below.
The news of Mr. Puffs coming to Verdun was first announced on November 18 on the company's Facebook page with a photo of the new owners.
The new spot will open in early 2022 on boulevard LaSalle, Mr. Puffs media representative confirmed to Narcity.
Without having to go all the way to LaSalle, you'll be able to enjoy the pastries with one of the 10 classic toppings including chocolate hazelnut, salted caramel and sugar cinnamon, or try one of the new flavours, Bueno and cappuccino.
And of course, you can always add a drink to your order for some additional sweetness. Mr. Puffs makes some seriously decadent milkshakes, with flavours like Oreo, Smarties and strawberry. Prepare for a brain freeze, though!
If you're not the type to sip on cold drinks when it's freezing outside, Mr. Puffs also has tasty hot drinks to keep you warm during the cold months, such as its iconic Mr. Puffs Moka.
Hours of operation will be Monday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Uber Eats and DoorDash ordering will also be available, so you can get stuffed without even having to leave your house.
Montreal is getting another beach. On Sunday, Mayor Valérie Plante announced a commitment to open the shore of the Promenade-Bellerive, a riverside park in Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, to swimming.
On its website, the city says the park "is the only physical and visual access point to the Saint Lawrence River" in the borough.
"Montreal is an island. And we want to take advantage of that," the mayor wrote on Facebook.
"The goal is to make our shorelines ever more accessible, keep our shorelines healthy, and celebrate our insularity."
She said a years-long water quality testing process has proven the site is safe for swimming.
At a press conference, the mayor and local city councillors said the beach would include supervised swimming hours.
The mayor aims to open the beach to swimming in 2022.
Residents of Montreal's east end have long pushed for more access to the river. Port activity and train tracks largely cut off neighbourhoods east of the Jacques Cartier Bridge from the Saint Lawrence.
Plante pointed out that her administration has already delivered Verdun Beach and increased access to the Vague à Guy, a popular surfing spot in LaSalle.
The City of Montreal has announced that it will be moving forward with investments on seven projects that were selected by Montrealers.
The investment will come from the city's first-ever participatory budget, which allowed citizens to choose their favourite projects.
Over a two-year period, $10 million will go to seven projects that got the most overall votes from the population. Six projects will be spread out over 14 boroughs and one project will encompass the entire territory of Montreal.
"What emerges from the selected projects is the importance that people place on improving their living environment, protecting nature in the city and reclaiming public spaces for the benefit of the entire population," Mayor Valérie Plante said in a statement.
The following projects were selected for investment:
A budget of $2.7 million will be used for building more than 125 water fountains that will allow for refilling reusable water bottles in Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Île-Bizard–Sainte-Geneviève, Mercier–Hochelaga–Maisonneuve, Outremont, Saint-Léonard and Ville-Marie.