For Round Three – Letter ‘M’, Traveling Tuesdays is heading to Montreal in the Canadian Province of Quebec.
Montreal is the largest city in Quebec. It is set on an island in the St. Lawrence River. It was named after Mt. Royal which is a triple-peaked hill on the island.
On the right is Notre-Dame Basilica located in the historic district of Old Montreal.
On the left is the Coat of Arms of Montreal. On top of the crest is a beaver lying on a log. The beaver has been a long time symbol of Montreal representing the early French furs traders. The beaver is surrounded by a spray of green maple leaves and the Latin Motto is translated as Salvation through Harmony.
The cross represents Christian principles and each of the five symbols represent the people who make up the community of Montreal.
The fleur-de-lis is for the first European settlers who came from France.
The Red Rose of Lancaster is represents the English people of Montreal.
The thistle represents the Scottish people.
The shamrock for the Irish.
The white pine symbolizes the Indigenous Peoples and stands for Peace and Harmony.
Montreal is home to the Cirque de Soleil. The city has hosted a number of international events. Montreal played host to Expo 67 and the Summer Olympics in 1976.
Montreal is home to several professional sports teams. The Montreal Canadiens is an NHL team, the Montreal Alouettes is a CFL team and Montreal Impact of Major League Soccer. The Montreal Expos was the baseball team, but they moved the team to Toronto and are now called the Toronto Expos.
I want to tell you about two visits I had to Montreal. The first time was in 1967. To celebrate Canada’s Centennial year, my home city, Dartmouth, NS wanted to send as many school children as possible on a field trip to Expo ’67.
My older sister, Harriet, was completing her first year at Acadia University and I was in grade 12. Harriet was old enough to go as a chaperone so she applied and was my group leader. We were one set of 100 (ten groups of 9 students plus a chaperone), and we traveled by train from Halifax to Montreal. A first for many of us. We stayed in barracks and slept on army cots. We had a fabulous time seeing as many pavilions as possible. We were on a school trip so the administration would not allow us to go to the amusement park. We had to see ‘educational’ things.
My younger sister, Ruth, and my cousin, Dorothy, were in grade seven. They went to Expo 67 too, and traveled in one of the other groups of 90 students and 10 chaperones.
After Expo 67 ended in October 1967, the site and most of the pavilions continued on as an exhibition called Man and His World. It was opened during the summer months from 1968 until 1984. Most of the buildings had deteriorated by 1984 and so were dismantled. Many had not been designed to last beyond the original exhibition.
Habitat 67 was built as a pavilion for Expo 67. It is one of the most recognizable buildings in Montreal. It is comprised of 354 identical prefabricated concrete forms. They are arranged in various combinations up to 12 stories high. There are now 156 residences.
My second trip to Montreal happened in 1976.
The previous year tickets went on sale for the Montreal Olympics so I went to Eaton’s (now the Hudson Bay Company) and purchased tickets to several events. When I got home, I announced that we were all going to the Olympics next summer. My Dad’s immediate reaction was NO. I replied well I bought tickets for four – (Mom and Dad, my sister, Ruth, and myself). Eventually my Dad came around. A month or so after my announcement, Dad said, “When we go to Montreal next summer, I think we should stay just outside the city and catch the Metro to get to the events.” I replied that is an excellent idea. (I was smiling inside – Dad just said he was going to the Olympics!)
The 1976 Summer Olympics were officially called the Games of the XXI Olympiad. We drove to Montreal and stayed outside the city.
One highlight for me was being in the gym and watching Nadia Comaneci on the high bar and balance beam scoring a perfect ten! A second highlight was sitting in the Olympic Stadium and seeing the Athletic Events. Men’s high jump was happening the day we were there and I was provincial high jump champ when I was in High School.
Wow! What great memories of my trips to Montreal! I hope you enjoyed this Traveling Tuesday trip back in time!
Be sure and come back next week as Traveling Tuesdays will be heading to a place starting with the Letter ‘N’.