Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Ahh ! Remember When........(btw: where did that huge jar of swizzle sticks go)..lol

                                        Those were heady times. Those were prosperous times.

Montreal was still the financial hub of Canada. Expo 67 was soon to come to the shores of the St. Lawrence River and offer the city an international showcase that would leave its people pumped with civic pride.
Back in the early 1960s, Montrealers were a party people,­ as we are today. But Montrealers had reason to party back then. Political strife was minimal. Damage to the city’s infrastructure was also minimal. And, of course, the city’s economic indicators were rosy.
Happy days.
Those were the days when the captains of industry threw caution to the wind regarding personal health issues, and three-martini lunches were not out of order at the city’s best restaurants, hotels and watering holes.
And those were the days when the city’s best restaurants, hotels and watering holes featured a now-nearly-extinct ornament to mark these golden days and to plop into the cocktails of patrons: finely crafted swizzle sticks, individually designed for each establishment.
To borrow from the Rod Stewart tune to come a decade later, every swizzle stick tells a story. And thanks to the late Ted Mahoney, father of photographer colleague John Mahoney, a part of Montreal’s rich history has been preserved through the swizzle sticks of once-bustling destinations ­— all of which are, sadly, long gone.Berkeley Hotel ­

Detail of the head of a swizzle stick from the Berkeley Hotel from the 1960s.
The head of a swizzle stick from 1960s-era Berkeley Hotel, a Golden Square Mile locale with a fabled bar. JOHN MAHONEY / MONTREAL GAZETTE

It was in 1958 that a group of 125 local politicians and entrepreneurs had gathered in what was once among the city’s grandest hotels to put forward the idea of a world exhibition for Montreal. And nine years later, their dream became a reality with the unveiling of Expo 67. The Berkeley, built in 1928 in the Golden Square Mile area along Sherbrooke St., is no longer. But some of its postmodern past was preserved in the creation of Maison Alcan, home ­for now ­of Rio Tinto Alcan. Still, to this day, some passersby swear they can still hear the clinking of glasses at the hotel’s fabled bar, where the rich and powerful and socialites gathered, as did journos looking for a little gossip.

Café André ­

Detail of the head of a swizzle stick from Café André from the 1960s in Montreal.
This swizzle stick could be found at the Café André, a warm and cozy spot popular with McGill students. JOHN MAHONEY / MONTREAL GAZETTE

Its swizzle stick may have been the most elaborate and distinctive of this bunch, depicting a charming three-story home. Yet it also belies the grandeur of the venue, once known as the Shrine to the students who frequented the place. It is also the most low-key establishment of this swizzle-stick bunch. A warm and cozy spot on Victoria St., around the corner from the McGill University campus, this long-gone café, once a rousing hot spot best known for its music, dance and comedy revues, went all mellow in the early 1960s and became a haven for folk musicians and aficionados thereof. Among those local luminaries who launched their careers there were Mashmakkhan, Penny Lang and Ricky Blue ­— who recalls playing there for the princely sum of $10 a night but who doesn’t recall the fancy swizzle sticks, because he wasn’t into the booze back then.

Dinty Moore’s ­

Swizzle stick from Dinty Moore's diner from 1960s Montreal.
Dinty Moore’s diner in downtown Montreal had a simple swizzle stick but a garish front window. JOHN MAHONEY / MONTREAL GAZETTE

The most basic swizzle stick of the bunch doesn’t do justice to the extinct downtown diner on Ste-Catherine St. with one of the most memorable menus of them all. The resto, best known for its “famous” corned beef and cabbage, featured a menu cover designed to highlight its specialty: a corpulent, Daddy Warbucks-like figure, his tummy bursting out of his three-piece suit, is pictured, stogie in mouth, lying on a veritable mountain of cabbages. Classic. As was the image of the pig roasting on a spit in the front window. And, indeed, the chattering classes did converge there in the evenings to chow down on the comfort foods.

Esquire Show Bar ­

Detail of the head of a swizzle stick from the 1960s at the Esquire Show Bar in Montreal.
This swizzle stick was stirred at the Esquire Show Bar, a Stanley St. music mecca.JOHN MAHONEY / MONTREAL GAZETTE

If music-savvy Montrealers of a certain age had their way, this fabled Stanley St. mecca of blues and soul ­— which ceased operations in 1972 —­ would come back to life. And music-savvy Montrealers not yet born during the club’s heyday would also embrace its return. Norm Silver, who ran the establishment, brought in the sort of acts that still make music-lovers of all ages salivate: James Brown, Bo Diddley, Fats Domino, Duke Ellington, Sam and Dave, Joe Tex, Little Richard, the wicked Mr. Wilson Pickett, the Drifters, the Platters, the Four Tops, and King Curtis — featuring a then-unknown guitarist named Jimi Hendrix. ‘Nuff said. And well worth the price of fake ID for those of us underage R& B buffs who snuck into the place and had the time of our lives soaking it all up.

Edgewater Hotel ­

Detail of the head on a swizzle stick from the Edgewater Hotel.
Detail of a swizzle stick from the Edgewater Hotel, a rowdy Point-Claire hangout.JOHN MAHONEY / MONTREAL GAZETTE

Mention the name The Edge to hipsters today, and they’ll probably think it’s a reference to the U2 guitarist. But well before U2 made its mark, The Edge, as the Edgewater Hotel was better known, was a Pointe-Claire club and hangout where the hipster youth and even their parents in the West Island got their musical kicks. The Edge, with its various rooms, was about as eclectic a musical gathering place as there was, serving up everything from rock to disco, country to calypso, big band to R& B. The spot got so rowdy at times that residents in the ‘hood wished to shut it down. They got their wish in 1987.

Martin’s ­

Montreal hot spots Martin's and Ruby Foo's had similar swizzle sticks during the 1960s.
Montreal hot spots Martin’s and Ruby Foo’s had similar swizzle sticks during the 1960s. JOHN MAHONEY / MONTREAL GAZETTE

Its whole name was Martin’s Since 1861, and the fact that it had lived to be well over 100 years old is remarkable. All the more so since this lively spot, located around the corner from Windsor Station and a mere stumble away from the old Gazette building on St-Antoine St., was the gathering spot of choice for many Montreal journos back in the early 1960s. Better known as Mother Martin’s, the long-defunct place did serve up decent grub, its roast beef in particular, but a large percentage of its clientele was there for the libations. Yes, those were the days when newspaper folk were more intent on giving their livers a workout than other parts of their bods, when the mention of hot yoga would likely induce a cold, blank stare. Oh yeah, Mother Martin’s even offered entertainment, everything from big band to comedy in the form of future Royal Canadian Air Farce troops Roger Abbott and Don Ferguson.

Ruby Foo’s ­

Ruby Foo's was a Montreal nightlife favourite.
Ruby Foo’s was a Montreal nightlife favourite. LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA (COLLECTIONSCADANA.GC.CA)

This Décarie Blvd. landmark, razed back in 1988, was a mecca for the city’s business, social, sports, political and wise-guy elite —­ as well as a magnet for tourists who wanted to hobnob with the latter. Anyone who was anyone congregated there. More than that, though, it happened to serve, in the minds of many, the best damned Cantonese cuisine this side of Canton. But what patrons remember most about the place isn’t necessarily the elaborate Cantonese main courses, or the roast beef served from that sparkling silver trolley, or even the drop-dead gorgeous cigarette girl sporting the sleekest Oriental-style dress years before such frocks were deemed acceptable in public places. No, it was the egg rolls and the garlic spareribs — ­ never really replicated. The resto’s Black Sheep Lounge also attracted a who’s who of performers, including Charles Aznavour. It was founded in 1945 by, among others, one Max Shapiro, father of former McGill principal Bernard.

Sheraton Mount-Royal Hotel

Detail of the head of a swizzle stick from Montreal's Sheraton Hotel.
Detail of the head of a swizzle stick from Montreal’s defunct Sheraton Mount Royal Hotel. JOHN MAHONEY / MONTREAL GAZETTE

 In what is now Les Cours Mont-Royal, a chi-chi condo development with high-end boutiques on the lower floors, used to stand one of the most ornate and swanky hotels in the city, from 1950 to 1973. Also one of the most massive, with 1,100 rooms and exquisite ballrooms. Popular with visiting hockey teams and home to many a high-school prom, the edifice, taking up almost an entire city block, was initially constructed in 1922 and designed by renowned architectural firm Ross & Macdonald. To many Montrealers, though, it was the hotel’s Polynesian-flavoured resto/bar Kon Tiki, with its exotic libations and its exotic serving-staff sporting flowery sarongs, that proved most memorable about the place.

Stork Club ­

In the 1960s, custom-designed swizzle sticks were the norm in the city's best restaurants, cafés and watering holes.
Spot the stork: A swizzle stick from the Stork Club is part of the late Ted Mahoney 1960s-era collection. JOHN MAHONEY / MONTREAL GAZETTE

Not to be confused with the Big Apple’s famed nightspot of the same name. Still, Montreal’s Stork Club, located on Guy St. next to the famed Her Majesty’s Theatre (formerly His Majesty’s Theatre, when our monarch was male), was synonymous with the city’s glorious ­ Sin City days, when visiting celeb royalty like Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Jerry Lewis would head there for late-night revelry following their engagements at other city haunts. Montrealers of all stripes would also congregate there not only to catch a glimpse of celebs but also to bop to the beat of house bands on the club’s sprawling dance floor. The club was later to become home to the disco palace Oz. And ­sigh! ­So it goes.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Rarely Tempered====== I love that line ,it describes many of our debates as a Montrealer lol

Todays Gazette story about the 50th ann of Sir Winston Churchill Pub, we had a lot of fun hitting all those bars way back when, the place was always packed in the early 70;s  Enjoy the article Cheers ! Les

It is a bittersweet anniversary for some: the Sir Winston Churchill Pub celebrates its 50th birthday this year, but, sadly, those habitués who made this Crescent St. complex a local landmark have long since passed on.
Front-row seats at the bar presided over by Margo MacGillivray were near impossible to land 20 years back. That’s because the stools were most frequently occupied by the likes of Nick Auf der Maur, Mordecai Richler and his friend/sparring partner Richard Holden, the latter’s former political comrade-turned-foil Gordon Atkinson, and radio icons George Balcan and Ted Blackman, among other local luminaries. These patrons served as a lively barometer for what was going on in the city, province, country and world. Opinions were rarely tempered and always colourful – roughly proportional to the amount of booze consumed.
There was nothing like it on the anglo bar front in town. Lunches turned into happy hours into dinners into late nights.
Some of us can still recall boulevardier/politician/journo Auf der Maur, vodka and cranberry in one hand and pen in the other, scribbling a Montreal Gazette city column on a cocktail napkin and, amid the din of the bar, calling it in and dictating it to a none-too-thrilled editor. Or author/political pundit Richler and Holden going at it, after the latter left the Equality Party to join the Parti Québécois. Or Atkinson, who remained true to the Equality cause, actually challenging Holden to a duel. Or Blackman setting new land-speed records for consumption of rum-and-Cokes before hitting the airwaves.
OK, not exactly lifestyles suited to longevity — which might explain why they are no longer with us.  But there was a spirit among this rogue’s gallery that brought much-needed fire to the city scene and that is rarely in evidence these days. Nor is Crescent St. the haven it once was, long since replaced by the action to the south and east of it.
About the only reminder of the pub’s past is Auf der Maur’s cherished Borsalino chapeau encased over the bar stool he once occupied. And, of course, the Ruelle Nick-Auf-der-Maur outside. Yet, if one were to plant oneself at one of the complex’s bars and close one’s eyes for a minute, the controlled chaos of it all comes rushing back.

Johnny Vago in 2013: Founder of the Sir Winston Churchill Pub still drops by for lunch. DARIO AYALA /MONTREAL GAZETTE FILES

The inimitable Johnny Vago, an economic adviser to the government of Fidel Castro in 1959-1960 and friend of Cuban revolutionary hero Che Guevara, founded the Sir Winston Churchill Pub. Tagged the “Father of Crescent St.” (but not in the priestly sense), and also the founder of the now-defunct Boiler Room, Don Juan’s and Casa Pedro (ask your parents), Vago, 93, – though no longer an owner – still drops by the pub for lunch.
Apart from the more famed regulars, the bar complex also served – and continues to do so – as a place for all manner of mortals to launch careers, marriages, divorces and, yes, liver conditions.
“I remember like it was almost yesterday. Nick decided we should all move from Grumpy’s to here and like the latter-day Moses he sort of was, we followed him,” says former CBC producer and Auf der  Maur crony Stephen Phizicky, over a beer at the bar. “The rest is history — and some hysteria.”
Auf der Maur was actually following his bartender of choice, MacGillivray, from Grumpy’s. She was the glue that kept this eccentric circle together and spent 37 years as mixologist/shrink at the pub. Though she officially retired a few years ago, she still shows up for the occasional Friday shift for old times’ sake.
Last week, MacGillivary, a former Miss Montreal Alouette who has also belted out the national anthem at football games at Molson Stadium, finished a homeless-outreach shift at St. Patrick’s Basilica in time to hook up with some old acquaintances at the pub.   
“The fun of working behind that bar was that everyday was different — new stories, new dramas, occasionally new faces. And laughing — I laughed every day,” says MacGillivray, over a glass of white wine on the other side of the bar.  “I looked forward to going to work every day.”
Phizicky, too, was left endlessly amused and informed by proceedings. “I’d meet Nick for lunch and there were five others meeting him as well — reporters from the London Times, New York Times or Norway Times who would check in with him to get an idea of what was going on in town, often relating to the overspending woes of the Big O.
“Nick would often be here from noon to 3,” Phizicky adds. “That’s noon to 3 a.m.!”
John Aylen, PR maven and close buddy of Richler, recalls Auf der Maur showing up at 10 in the morning for a

Mordecai Richler at Sir Winston Churchill pub in 1995. MARIE-FRANCE COALLIERMONTREAL GAZETTE FILES

press conference for Richler’s Prix Parizeau literary award. “I don’t remember the results of the press conference, but I do remember Nick drinking sangrias, which he thought to be a fine breakfast libation — because it contained some oranges.”
“The trick for me was to remember the favourite drinks of the regulars and to remember who they would want to sit beside and who they didn’t want to sit beside,” MacGillivray interjects. “There were so many other characters who stopped by, too: John Lynch-Staunton, Egan Chambers, Kevin Drummond, Michel Sarrazin, Julian De Salis, Irwin Steinberg, Renée Hunnicutt, the classy lady who was one of the guys — and they are mostly all gone, except for Phizicky, who never really drank much or smoked and started marathon cycling.
“Of course, there were those less amused with these characters and they would refer to my bar as Jurassic Park,” a grinning MacGillivray chimes.
“Yet there was still a lineup of five and six rows deep to get a drink at Margo’s bar,” says pub co-owner Jan Wilson, who has worked here for 35 years. “Those days were golden, because there wasn’t the stiff competition there is today. But we’ve adapted to the times and offer live entertainment, and we have another group of regulars today.”
Wilson has planned a series of events to commemorate the pub’s 50th anniversary: everything from alumni bartender soirées to theme parties dedicated to each of the five decades of operation to the finale event on Nov. 30, which happens to mark the birthday of club namesake/inspiration, Sir Winston Churchill.
MacGillivray also plans to pay homage of sorts. She once pledged to Richler that she would write her own personal account of the place: My Life Behind Bars.
“How appropriate a title, too,” she says. “I’ve served a life sentence here – with no chance of parole.”

Saturday, February 11, 2017

A New York Times Article about Leonard Cohen

The Parc du Portugal, where a plaque commemorates the arrival of Portuguese immigrants. CreditAlexi Hobbs for The New York Times
In the jacket copy of his 1961 poetry collection “The Spice-Box of Earth,” a 20-something Leonard Cohen wrote, “I have to keep coming back to Montreal to renew my neurotic affiliations.”
Soon, the city’s cherished son followed his inclinations toward music, and would eventually achieve global-icon status thanks to his signature talent for such pensive sentiments. The brooding vocals and philosophical lyrics of anthems like “Suzanne” and “Hallelujah” earned him nicknames like the “godfather of gloom” and the “poet laureate of pessimism.”
Somewhere along the way, though, Mr. Cohen’s hometown anxieties softened into affection. “I feel at home when I’m in Montreal — in a way that I don’t feel anywhere else,” he told an interviewer in 2006. “I don’t know what it is, but the feeling gets stronger as I get older.” Proof of that can still be found today along the streets of Montreal’s Little Portugal, which served as his hometown headquarters for the latter half of his life.
Artists and immigrants (first Jewish, later Portuguese) have shared this sliver of the greater Plateau neighborhood for close to a century. Today, locals still trade anecdotes about spotting Mr. Cohen at his favorite restaurants or having a friendly chat with him along The Main, Montreal vernacular for Boulevard St.-Laurent, the Plateau’s cultural artery.
The songwriter and poet in 1973 in Manhattan.CreditLibrado Romero/The New York Times
True to his dust-jacket proclamation, the nomadic Mr. Cohen returned to Montreal sporadically throughout his adult life, and so, until his death in November at the age of 82, if your timing was fortuitous, you might have seen him on the steps of the gray stone triplex he purchased just off The Main in the early 1970s. With his often-present laptop perched on his knees, it’s where he exchanged pleasantries with neighbors he’d known for decades or called out to acquaintances lingering in the pocket-size Parc du Portugal across Rue Vallières.
“One day he was in back of me at the bakery,” Ida Ponte, a manager at the J. Schreter apparel store on The Main, told me as she recalled her visits to another St.-Laurent staple, Les Anges Gourmets. Like many Little Portugal mainstays, Les Anges offers a cross-cultural array of goods, as renowned for its French patisserie as for its Portuguese egg custard tarts, pasteis de natas. “I didn’t know he was there and he just leans over and whispers to me, ‘You’re the only one who knows I’m wearing slippers.’”
Mr. Cohen’s preferred footwear for padding around Little Portugal — always the same Foamtreads slippers, purchased at J. Schreter — illustrated his rapport with the middle-class neighborhood that served as his Montreal home base after a childhood spent in the tonier Westmount enclave. Sotto voce and sly-humored, polite and without airs, Mr. Cohen exuded a big-hearted bonhomie for the people and for the places he loyally patronized.
Quincaillerie Azores
J. Schreter
Les Anges Gourmets
Bagel Etc.
Main Deli
Steak House
“That’s the thing that stands out more than anything else for me: He liked to wear a very comfortable slipper as a shoe,” said Steve Schreter, who now owns the business, founded by his father’s cousin. “It didn’t prevent him from walking around the street.”
In fact, little did. When in town, Mr. Cohen was a creature of habit, returning to a string of family-owned businesses found along The Main, all easily reached by foot. (“Suzanne,” his most famous example of Montreal-set songwriting, references the city’s Old Port several miles away.) His favorite locales are, as he was, Montreal institutions.
Mr. Cohen’s days routinely began with a freshly pulled espresso at Bagel Etc., a 35-year-old diner and cafe where vintage mirrors, signage and art run amok on the brick walls. You might assume the décor was inherited from the antiques shop that once occupied the southern half of Bagel Etc.’s double storefront, but as Simon Rosson, an owner, told me, “some of it’s from a funeral home.”
Beyond bagels — one or two varieties, delivered from nearby Fairmount Bagels — the breakfast-and-lunch menu builds on the appealingly scattershot feel of the place. Its famous huevos rancheros are offered alongside sweet and savory blintzes, knockwurst and pepperette, and for dessert, strudel — which, when I ordered it in December, was charmingly if incongruously accompanied by a tuft of canned whipped cream topped with a single red grape.
The Montreal triplex Leonard Cohen bought in the early 1970s and to which he returned.CreditAlexi Hobbs for The New York Times
Mr. Rosson got into the habit of opening early for Mr. Cohen when he starting working at the shop in 2001. “I was smoking my cigarette outside one morning, and he’s peeking through his window to see if I’ve actually opened the doors,” he said. “I know he’s not going to eat anything, so it doesn’t matter if I don’t have anything prepared. I can make the guy an allongé” — a tall espresso. “So I wave him down, like, ‘Leonard, just come on.’”
When he was occupying his preferred stool at the counter, television, of all things, became a favorite topic for Mr. Cohen. (Brass nameplates honoring regulars line several booths at Bagel Etc.; Mr. Cohen’s stool marker was presumably swiped by a fan years ago.)
“He was always on his laptop. He was talking about Project Free TV, this website to get free TV shows,” Mr. Rosson recalled. “He says, ‘Brother’ — always ‘brother’ or ‘friend’ — ‘have you seen “John From Cincinnati”?’” (Mr. Cohen was referring to a short-lived HBO drama starring his onetime fiancée, Rebecca De Mornay.) Ms. De Mornay, he said, had called Mr. Cohen and asked his opinion of the show. Mr. Rosson then told him, “Give me her phone number, because I want to phone her and say, ‘What the heck’s going on in this show?’” (He used a bluer expression than “heck.”)
Farther south along the boulevard, Mr. Cohen (who was a vegetarian for a few years in the 1960s) indulged his love for Montreal’s acclaimed smoked meat, or viande fumée, a local specialty made from high-fat beef brisket that’s typically salted and cured for a week before being smoked, steamed and hand-sliced to order. “I like this place because it’s open all night,” he told the now-defunct Montreal Daily News in 1988, referring to Main Deli Steak House, a scruffy Jewish deli he famously frequented (a newspaper clipping is displayed near the door). “The smoked meat tastes great, too, especially after five months on the road.”
At Bagel Etc., Leonard Cohen got his morning coffee.CreditAlexi Hobbs for The New York Times
Indeed, the menu appears tailor-made for the ravenous, after-hours crowd; you can get a jumbo hot dog or a 20-ounce “jumbo rib steak,” as well as dauntingly hearty dishes like spaghetti with smoked meat. A traditional viande fumée sandwich served on mustard-soused slices of rye, however, makes for a decadent lunch on its own.
If Mr. Cohen felt a kinship with local proprietors based on common geography and ancestry, another quality they shared was an ability to self-reinvent. When J. Schreter opened in 1928, its customers included peddlers who resold their no-frills apparel to farmers and similar clientele. When Mr. Cohen posed for a photo with the family outside the store in 1986 — “Can I come into your picture?” Mr. Schreter recalls Mr. Cohen asking as he walked by — their sign still noted “Gros et Detail” (wholesale and retail) merchandise.
Today, J. Schreter’s attractive racks of clothing, shoes and accessories come from fashion-forward brands known for classic styling, like Ben Schwartz Oxford shirts, Tom’s shoes and Herschel backpacks.
Nearby, Quincaillerie Azores, where Mr. Cohen purchased items for small home repairs (many executed free by the Pereira family, which owns the business), tells a similar story. Gabriel Pereira arrived in 1956 from the Azores archipelago off the Portuguese coast. In 1968, he opened his hardware store and began serving the construction trade.
Moishes Steakhouse, where Leonard Cohen ate regularly.CreditAlexi Hobbs for The New York Times
These days, under the management of Mr. Pereira’s five adult children, the store has become Quebec’s largest seller of roosters of Barcelos. Tour groups schedule stops at Azores to pick up the vibrantly hued, ornamental birds traditionally given in Portuguese culture as good-luck presents for weddings and housewarmings. “There used to be a lot of Portuguese families that lived here, but I would say toward the end of the ’80s, you would see less,” said Kevin Pereira, one of the second-generation owners. “The Plateau started to be pricey, more expensive. We adapted.” Housewares and gifts occupy the window displays, including fine examples of Portuguese clay pottery.
At 79-year-old Moishes Steak House, a well-known establishment where Mr. Cohen dined several nights a week, the modifications are more subtle. Graffitied canvases contrast with the sumptuous leather, velvet and brick textures of the interior, while an after-9 p.m. menu introduced about five years ago brings a younger demographic through the doors.
Moishes also boasts a back story that Mr. Cohen would have appreciated: After immigrating from Romania in the 1920s, Moishe Lighter worked at the restaurant, then called Saffrin’s, when he won it from Mr. Saffrin in a poker game in 1938.
Mr. Cohen would always arrive at Moishes with company and greet its current owner, Leonard, one of Moishe’s sons, with the same jovial if mysterious hello: “They’re never gonna get us, Leonard. They’re never gonna get us.” He would request lamb chops and a red Bordeaux. “He loved our lamb chops. He called them Silence of the Lamb chops. ‘I’ll have an order of the Silence of the Lamb chops.’ That was really his character,” Mr. Lighter said.
Quincaillerie Azores in Montreal sells an array of Portuguese pottery.CreditAlexi Hobbs for The New York Times
“We always have celebrities come in, people from everywhere; when they were in Montreal, they ended up here and still do. It was different with him. He was a Montrealer, and he was here. He lived in the neighborhood. He was just Leonard Cohen from Montreal.”

If You Go

What to read

Among several worthwhile Leonard Cohen biographies, the rock journalist Sylvie Simmons’s “I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen” offers a thorough and rollicking account of the singer-songwriter’s geographic, romantic and artistic wanderings.
Mr. Cohen’s own bibliography includes two novels and a litany of poetry collections; “The Spice-Box of Earth” was written during his 20s in Montreal and solidified his status on the Canadian poetry scene.

What to do

J. Schreter, 4358 Boulevard St-Laurent; 514-845-4231; schreter.com.
Les Anges Gourmets, 4247 Boulevard St-Laurent; 514-281-6947; facebook.com/pages/Les-Anges-Gourmets/224055850938160.
Bagel Etc., 4320 Boulevard St-Laurent; 514-845-9462; facebook.com/pages/Bagel-etc/132966133418240.
Main Deli Steak House, 3864 Boulevard St-Laurent; 514-843-8126; maindelisteakhouse.com.
Quincaillerie Azores, 4299 Boulevard St-Laurent; 514-845-3543; hhazores.ca.
Moishes Steakhouse, 3961 Boulevard St-Laurent; 514-845-3509; moishes.ca.

What to see

Nearby Mount Royal Park (the mountain gave the city its name) was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and serves as a year-round recreation space for hikers, cross-country skiers and more. A sweeping view of downtown awaits those who make it to the top.
Mr. Cohen was buried at his family plot in the Congregation Shaar Hashomayim Cemetery along the base of the mountain.