Hochelaga, the Olympic Park and Sainte Catherine

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All in all, I know Montreal pretty well. Even though it’s not my favourite city in Canada, it’s a convenient two-hour drive from Ottawa and I’ve been there many times for work, leisure or simply to catch a flight at Trudeau Airport.

That Sunday, we decided to check out the Olympic Park—I had seen it from afar but I had never been up close. The Park is located in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, a quiet working class residential neighborhood favoured by newcomers and students. We spotted a few families having breakfast on their balconies, and people doing their morning “beer run” at the local convenience store—unlike in Ontario, booze is sold everywhere in Quebec.

Montreal hosted the 1976 summer Olympic Games, and you can still visit the Olympic Park, containing the Stadium, Olympic Tower, Saputo Stadium, Biodome, Olympic Pool, Maurice Richard Arena, and Parc Maisonneuve.

The stadium is nicknamed “The Big O”, a reference to both its name and to the doughnut-shape of the stadium’s roof; “The Big Owe” name has also been used to reference the astronomical cost of the stadium and the 1976 Olympics as a whole. Seems like every city that hosts the Olympic has budget issues afterwards…!

The stadium is the largest by seating capacity in Canada. After the Olympics, it became the home of Montreal’s professional baseball and Canadian football teams. Since 2004, the stadium has no main tenant, and with a history of financial and structural problems, is largely seen as a white elephant.

The Olympic Park is clearly from another era—concrete, so much concrete…! It feels pretty old and outdated.

We then headed to Sainte Catherine Street, one of Montreal’s major commercial arteries, with hundreds of flagship stores and the famous “underground city”, a huge shopping malls with many retailers. No shopping for me though—we have the same stores in Ottawa!

You can see the complete Montreal set of pictures on Flickr.

Hochelaga

Hochelaga

The Olympic Stadium

The Olympic Stadium

Hockey Mural

Hockey Mural

The Olympic Stadium

The Olympic Stadium

The Olympic Stadium

The Olympic Stadium

The Olympic Stadium

The Olympic Stadium

The Olympic Stadium

The Olympic Stadium

The Olympic Stadium

The Olympic Stadium

Family Portrait

Family Portrait

Convenience Store and Beer Ads

Convenience Store and Beer Ads

Poutine and Smoked Meat

Poutine and Smoked Meat

Underground Mall

Underground Mall

I Love My Language

I Love My Language

Underground Mall

Underground Mall

Truck of Signs

Truck of Signs

Sculpture on Sainte Catherine

Sculpture on Sainte Catherine

Sainte Catherine

Sainte Catherine

Sainte Catherine

Sainte Catherine

Sainte Catherine

Sainte Catherine

Dumplings for Us, Feng's Finger for Mark

Dumplings for Us, Feng’s Finger for Mark

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

8 Comments

  1. You bring an important point regarding Olympics; I guess big infrastructure gets built, but then nobody needs it afterward, hence cities get budget issues because they need to maintain something that doesn’t bring them revenue. And it’s only for a month of sports events, and the prestige of being able to say that one’s city has held an Olympics.

    Speaking of which, I should head to Berlin’s Olympic Stadium one of these days. It’s older, built for the 1936 Olympics, right before WWII.

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