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DARLING FOUNDRY: ART IN THE CITY

The Darling Foundry – yes, it was once a foundry – is one of Montreal’s famous art spaces. My favourite urban legend is that a feng shui master once visited this abandoned space during its transformation into a gallery and said ‘’there was great heat here once.’’  The gallery is still hot today – one of the city’s most famed alternative galleries. Located on Ottawa Street, the current exhibit shows two expositions:  one by Luis Jacob, and also in situ works that unite this street from east to west and includes Griffintown, a charming area threatened by urban development. This is where the lovely, big horses hide in their little stables, waiting for their calèches or sleds.

FLICKR PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Our Montréal Buzz “Photo of the Week” goes to flickr star ‘paspog.’ Via a ‘fish-eye lens,’ we find ourselves magically transferred into the heart of Old Montréal, with one of Canada’s most famous churches (Notre Dame) tucked into the right side of the photo. Also noteworthy is the tall, white building in the center known as the “Alfred Building.” This art-deco edifice is considered an early model of the Empires State Building. Wikipedia states that… “The building resembles the Empire State Building, completed the same year, and was built for Aldred and Company Limited, a New York City-based international finance company.” So we can think of the Alfred Building as the twitter-esque version of the Empire State Building. —————————————————————————————————————— Submit your Montréal pictures to our MONTRÉAL BUZZ FLICKR GROUP. And see our previous PHOTOS OF THE WEEK.

MONTREAL ATTRACTIONS: THE AMPHI-BUS

The Amphi-Bus is a unique Montréal guided tour that traverses land and water. I had seen this transformer/nemo-esque machine cruising the streets of Old Montréal in the past, and had a developed a secret ‘Amphi-Bus Crush’ – I knew I wanted some of that fun adventure! So I grabbed my friend Safa and we went voyaging. We had a riot! Here’s a quick video to give you a sense of the Amphi-Bus…

ROBERT LEPAGE DIRECTS CIRQUE DU SOLEIL

Last week in Montreal, writer and director, Robert Lepage, unveiled Cirque du Soleil’s brand new show, Totem. As cleverly explained by my colleague Daniel Baylis, Totem is a voyage through the evolution of the human species. Surprisingly, it was a long-time dream for the notorious playwright to finally direct one of the Cirque’s touring shows (Lepage had previously directed Cirque du Soleil’s Kà, which is presented at the MGM Grand in Vegas).

MONTRÉAL NEIGHBORHOODS 101: OLD MONTRÉAL

In a city renown for charm and romantic nooks, there is one neighborhood that visitors reference time and gain as their most memorable location: Old Montréal. This historic district of Montréal gives our little city a reputation for being charming and creative, with a European flair rarely found in North America.  The cobblestone streets, stunning gothic architecture and epicurean delights have seduced countless travelers. It really is a “must see” on any visitor’s agenda.

CREPES?

I’d intended to begin this post about crepes with something along the lines of “even the pancakes are classier in Montreal”. But, in the interest of full disclosure, it should be mentioned that it was the name of a chain of crepe shops that prompted the writing of this post…

DRINKS AT THE HOTEL LE ST-JAMES

Located in Old Montreal, the Hotel Le St-James is certainly in the running for this city’s nicest hotel. At the very least, it’s where Madonna and The Rolling Stones stay when they’re in town (the Stones, apparently, rent the entire hotel when they do). When meeting up with several of my fellow Montreal Tourism Insiders, only a place with this degree of swankitude would do…

Love at first sight: exquisite tableware boutique

Love at first sight — it doesn’t happen very often, but this week, as soon as I walked into À table tout le monde, I fell head over heels with this magnificent design boutique that showcases china, dinnerware and the art of setting a beautiful table…

Behind the scenes with Normand Laprise at Toqué!

In a previous post, I visited a farm with talented chef, Normand Laprise, from Toqué! — one of Montreal’s top restaurants. After our field trip, Normand kindly invited to visit his kitchen! So, as a good Insider, I wanted to give you a behind-the-scenes glimpse into one of Montreal’s most famous gastronomic institutions. Now you can see his culinary innovation first-hand as he continues to promote farm-fresh products in his restaurants.