While I was taking pictures of assorted storefronts on St. Laurent Boulevard, the owner of Bar Sportivo invited me inside. He offered me a cup of coffee and told me about how he, a proud Italian-Canadian, had worked side-by-side with his wife, a French-Canadian, for so many years until her death a few years ago. As I left the café, another patron walked out with me and told me how he had come here from Trinidad and Tobago. It struck me once again that most of Montreal’s citizens have roots elsewhere. Although for French-Canadians like me the roots in France feel remote in time, the very reason we are celebrating 375 years is because a few intrepid French undertook the perilous adventure of a beginning a new life here. Moreover, they survived and persisted.
The brief impressions of the various neighbourhoods mentioned here do not do full justice to their fascinating stories, nor have I been able to include many other communities of equal interest in this space. However, I hope this provides some incentive for visitors and residents alike to seek out new and unfamiliar neighbourhoods, meet their people and learn their stories.
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