• Bourne's Montreal: The Climb Up Mount Royal

    July 10, 2013. Posted by Michael Bourne.

    Maisonneuve, for whom one of Montreal's jazzfest's concert halls is named, was the founder of Montreal as a settlement of what was then called New France.

    Paul de Chomedey, Sieur de Maisonneuve
    Paul de Chomedey, Sieur de Maisonneuve

    After surviving floods from the river, Maisonneuve gave thanks by planting a cross atop the royal mountain. That's what the city's name means: Mount Royal.

    Mtroyal

    I think of this every time my old bones creak and groan up and down the hills Montreal is built upon. Even the short block between the Hyatt Regency and the Maison du Festival is a climb.

    Photo by Victor Diaz Lamich
    Photo by Victor Diaz Lamich

    And then, on the deambulatoire, the walking street that's now a scene for the jazzfest's grandes evenements, I watch little kids run through the fountains that spurt from the pavement.

    ambiance01
    Photo by Ulisse Lemerise B.

    And even though I cannot wetly gambol as I might have 60 years ago, I feel that I am, for a moment, one with the splashing children.

    And, for that blessed moment, grunting up the damned royal hill, my knees don't ache.

    Photo by Victor Diaz Lamich
    Photo by Victor Diaz Lamich

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