Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The Verdun Beach idea is coming soon

Borough Mayor Jean-Francois Parenteau says Verdun’s long-awaited urban beach — promised for Montreal’s 375th anniversary in 2017 — will be ready for its official opening on Saturday.
But passersby could be forgiven for expressing skepticism late Monday afternoon, as the site on the shore of the St. Lawrence River right behind the Verdun auditorium did not look anywhere near ready for sunbathers and swimmers just yet.
Bulldozers and backhoes were still on the site Monday digging into mountains of dirt, and all kinds of rock and debris, including an old tire, still littered the site.
Work at Verdun Beach on Monday, June 17, 2019: It will be inaugurated Thursday, with the official opening set for Saturday. Pierre Obendrauf / Montreal Gazette
But borough officials say the Verdun Beach will be ready for its official inauguration this Thursday, when the public is invited to view the site between 4 p.m. and  7 p.m. And the beach will be officially open for summer fun as of Saturday, June 22.
Some work will remain to be completed after the opening, borough officials acknowledge, including some planting and landscaping. Also, the universal accessibility ramp, which will allow bathers with mobility issues to enter the water, will not be completed in time for the opening. Hammocks will not yet be installed, they said, and the buoy lines to delineate the swimming area may not yet be in place.
David Cohen, who lives in a building right beside the new beach site, was among those watching the work Monday and wondering how it can possibly be ready for the public in just a few days. But he is very happy with the project overall.
My property value is going up, so I can’t complain.”
“I’ll have a beach right next door,” he said. “My property value is going up, so I can’t complain.”
Tim Siman, also a Verdun resident, said the beach should have opened long ago.
“I’m just appalled at how long it’s taking,” Siman said. “I mean, how hard can it be to just throw down some sand? … It seems to me they could have done (the beach) part of it and opened it, and then done some of the fancy stuff later.”
In fact, the project has certainly exceeded its initial budget of $4.1 million. It was up to $4.7 million at last check, and the borough is expected to reveal the actual cost on Thursday. Increases are because of various factors, including work that had to be done during the winter months, additional studies that had to be completed and modifications that had to be made once the results of wildlife and water current studies were known.
Of course, the project involved much more than just dropping a load of sand along the shore of the river. Walkways and ramps have been built to ease the descent to the water, and shrubs and trees were planted for shade. Studies had to be done on water quality and the impact on wildlife.  A rocky jetty was built to serve as a breakwater to slow the current, and a retaining wall had to be installed under water to keep sand in place.
Bathers will be able to wade into the water along a gradually descending, sandy bottom, out to a depth of 1.5 metres, all protected from the current. Land elements include a climbing wall, sand boxes and two long slides down to the sand, so that kids can skip the stairs down to the beach. The whole project will, eventually, be wheelchair accessible, including a ramp into the water. Colourful change houses are also in the plans.
A dozen teenage boys were already enjoying the water on Monday, jumping from the jetty into the not-yet-official swimming area.
Ethan Caldwell, 16, of Verdun, said the jetty really works to cut the current.
“We just jumped off the rocks and there is almost no current if you jump on that side of it,” he said, motioning to the side where the beach swimming area will be.
We swim in the river all the time.”
He and his friends have been swimming in the river near the site, without a beach, for years, even though there are several outdoor pools nearby.
“We swim in the river all the time,” Caldwell said. “I prefer it. There’s more freedom and no rules.”
He’s a bit worried an official beach and its lifeguards might reduce that freedom a little, but still, he’s excited by the prospects of a beach scene.
“Do you think there will be lots of girls?” he asked, smiling.
Sean O’Sullivan, 15, said he expects the beach will attract people elsewhere on the island who have never dared to swim in the river before. But in Verdun, he noted, it’s a long-standing summer ritual.
“Lots of people do it. It’s a Verdun thing.”

Thursday, May 16, 2019

May 16th 1977 (the good old days) Habs Stanley Cup Parade 42years ago

History Through Our Eyes: May 16, 1977, Stanley Cup parade

On May 16, 1977, in what was an almost annual rite of spring, Montrealers lined the streets to pay tribute to their hockey champions.
May 16, 1977, Stanley Cup victory parade: Montreal Canadiens captains Serge Savard and Yvan Cournoyer flank the Stanley Cup as Montrealers line the streets to pay tribute to the championship team. Michael Dugas / Montreal Gazette
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On May 16, 1977, in what at that time was an almost annual rite of spring, Montrealers lined the streets to pay tribute to their hockey champions. This photograph by the Montreal Gazette’s Michael Dugas shows Montreal Canadiens defenceman Serge Savard (left) and captain Yvan Cournoyer flanking the Stanley Cup.
Our article the next day estimated that there were half a million fans along the six-mile parade route, which started at the Forum at Ste-Catherine and Lambert-Closse Sts. and ended up at city hall, where 132 bottles of champagne were quaffed by the team, city officials and fans.
During the parade, the biggest cheers were reserved for the vehicles carrying Savard and Cournoyer, Guy Lafleur and Steve Shutt, and goalie Ken Dryden, Dick Bacon reported.
Savard received a rousing reception when he spoke on behalf of his teammates at the rotunda at city hall.
“It’s nice to play on the greatest team in the world in the greatest city in the world,” he said.
There was some truth to that estimation. The Habs lost only 10 of 94 games that season on their way to their Stanley Cup victory over the rival Boston Bruins. They had also won the Stanley Cup the previous year, and would go on to win again in 1978 and 1979.
There hasn’t been a parade for a while now, though. The Canadiens last won the Cup in 1993.
The uncropped photo. Michael Dugas / Montreal Gazette

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Montreal Forum Auction and the Habs haven't won Since

The Forum has long held a special place in the hearts of Montreal hockey fans. The arena at Atwater Ave. and Ste-Catherine St. W. was the home of the  Canadiens for seven decades — including Les Glorieux’s most glorious years — until 1996. It also was home to the Maroons in the 1920s and ’30s.
The Habs played their final game there (a 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars) on March 11, 1996. The occasion was marked with appropriate ceremony. Present were some of the biggest stars of the past, including Guy Lafleur, Jean Béliveau and Maurice (Rocket) Richard.
While memories may be priceless, that was not the case for the Forum’s seats, turnstiles, banners, nets and a host of other items. These were sold at auction to raise money for charity. Pierre Obendrauf’s photo of auctioneer Serge Belec taking centre stage in front of some of the items to be sold appeared on Page 1 of the Montreal Gazette on March 13, 1996, along with a column by Peggy Curran recounting the previous evening’s events.
“Before auctioneer Serge Belec even opened the bidding, Canadiens president Ronald Corey was so confident that he guaranteed a cheque of $100,000 to Centraide and the Old Timers Association. By the time the final hammer fell about midnight, $726,750 was in the till. Former NHL president Clarence Campbell’s seat went for $12,000. Corey’s block of four reds went for $9,000,” Curran wrote.
She marvelled that “a worn turnstile sold for $1,800, while a stick and jersey belonging to Donald Brashear, who hasn’t scored a goal this season, went for $2,500.”
The 1992-93 Stanley Cup championship banner was bought for $32,000. The Canadiens, who now play at the Bell Centre, have not won the Stanley Cup since.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Spring Forward..Fall Back

As stupid as it is ,it is that time again SPRING FORWARD,,,,,,,,,set your clocks ahead, maybe someday we will; get rid of this lunacy,however that time is not today//////////Cheers ! Les


Friday, March 8, 2019

Chalet BBQ 75 years old, a place all Montrealers know for sure, story is from today's Montreeal Gazette


Brownstein: Chalet Bar-B-Q, keeping it tasty for 75 years

The chicken? The sauce? The paneling? Some theories on what's kept this Montreal barbecue spot so popular for so long.
                                                                                      There have been some legendary barbecue chicken establishments in this city, but few have drawn the fervour of aficionados quite like N.D.G.’s Chalet Bar-B-Q, which goes a long way toward explaining why it is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.
Regulars come from far and wide, and let’s just say that it’s not for the dim lighting and knotty pine décor from another era. But it is for its attentive service from another era and for its familiarity and, of course, for its — dare I say, for fear that Colonel Sanders may spring from his grave to strike me down — “finger-lickin’-good” chicken, slowly charcoal broiled in ovens that go back to 1944.
A spirited discussion ensues at one lunchtime table among three buddies who have been frequenting the place since they were kids some 60 years ago.
“It’s obviously the chicken that keeps us coming back,” they coo almost in unison.
“It’s like walking into my parents’ basement here,” says one of the guys, Dave Masterson. “It has always felt like home. But it’s the whole package: the chicken, fries, sauce, coleslaw. It’s unique. There’s nothing like this in the whole planet. I know. I’ve tried so many of the others. But that sauce. … it’s just so addictive.”
“We have customers who come in to order two sauces, and drink one before the meal,” says Chalet GM Danny Colantonio, right, with manager Danny T aka Mr. T, at Chalet Bar-B-Q. ALLEN MCINNIS /MONTREAL GAZETTE
So much so that Masterson used to drink it straight, before even getting to the chicken and fries.
“It was back in my high school days,” Masterson elaborates. “A few of us would drink that instead of coffee, and I’ve been sauced ever since.”
Nor is Masterson unique in this regard. “We have customers who come in to order two sauces, and drink one before the meal,” notes Danny Colantonio, the Chalet general-manager for nearly 30 years.
But Colantonio insists the magical ingredients that go into that sauce are known only to owner Louise Mauron McConnell, daughter of the Chalet’s Swiss-born founder Marcel Mauron.
“The sauce is all part of the mystique of this place, which keeps bringing me back,” says John Rochon, a regular for 63 years. “My parents would only be able to take us out a couple of times a year, and this was our big treat to come to Chalet. And it remains a treat for me all these years later.”
At another table, Tom Rogers, 86, recalls coming to Chalet when it first opened 75 years ago. “I came with my mother and I must have liked it then, because I haven’t stopped coming back.”
“I’ve only been coming here for 72 years,” declares his pal Paul Doyle, 88, the 2018 Irishman of the Year. “So they must be doing something right.”
A 15-year veteran of the kitchen, Kajithan Baratharajah is one of the more recent hires at Chalet Bar-B-Q, which is celebrating 75 years in business. ALLEN MCINNIS / MONTREAL GAZETTE
“And I’ve only been coming here for 70 years,” cracks their buddy Charlie Baillie, 84, the former Montreal Alouettes star and longtime coach of the McGill football squad. “It’s always been good times and good food here, and it was a very effective place to come when I would recruit players for McGill.”
Another regular, André Picard, 82, first romanced his future wife here 66 years ago. “We would go to a movie every week, then have dinner here,” he recalls. “We never stopped coming after we married. She died two years ago, but my son Daniel and I keep coming back every week. It’s the chicken — it’s better than any other in Montreal — but it’s also the great memories.”
Colantonio is struck by the devotion of his customers: “I could do a book about this place: As the Chicken Turns. There are just so many stories here.”
“I really credit the concept, from the beginning,” Colantonio says, “of broiling chicken over hardwood charcoal. That is the flavour-maker. We don’t use other flavour enhancers, either.” ALLEN MCINNIS /MONTREAL GAZETTE
“That’s what happens when we serve three and even four generations of the same families,” explains server Louise Goedike, who has been slinging chicken here for “only 28 years.”
“What customers keep telling me is that they love this place for the chicken and the fact that nothing changes here — not even the waitresses,” jokes server Mella Gianforte, a relative Chalet newbie with just 24 years on the floor.
“That’s really the secret: Nothing changes here,” Colantonio says. “We re-did the floors about six years ago, but we don’t dare change the panelling, otherwise our customers will ask what’s going on. This is a slice of time preserved for them. It’s a taste experience here, and it’s a visual experience as well.
“But I really credit the concept, from the beginning, of broiling chicken over hardwood charcoal. That is the flavour-maker. We don’t use other flavour enhancers, either.”
In a week, about 3,000 customers pass through Chalet — which closes only Christmas Day — and almost as many do takeout. This requires 2,500 birds and eight thousand pounds of potatoes weekly.
“In the old days, there used to be a sign saying if customers wanted forks and knives, ‘please ask,’ ” Colantonio recalls. “In those days, everybody used to eat the chicken with their fingers and, yes, many drank the sauce straight out of the cups. They still do, but we bring the cutlery anyway.”

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Van Morrison likes Montreal, and played there in one of the theatres on Saint Catherine way back when.

Bob when you said a theatre on Saint Catherine I wondered if it was maybe the Capitol ,and so a quick search found this following excerpt form a Montreal article:
“I first saw Van Morrison in the late 60’s at the Capitol Theatre on Ste-Catherine Street. He performed two shows that evening – and he was in full flight by the time the second show was underway.” I’m in conversation with Rubin Fogel, a lifelong fan of Van Morrison’s music, and the promoter for Morrison’s October 1st performance at Salle Wilfred Pelletier in Place des Arts.

   =the whole article can be read here at this link: Hope it brings back some memories for you Bob. (sorry but you will have to copy and paste or hi-light the link and right click for google to find it)