Welcome to Montreal Canadiens Avenue—in the Maritimes

If you visit the Maritimes, as you approach Fredericton, look for the exit to Harvey, and follow that road for about 15 minutes. Eventually, you’ll come upon my old sign!

Montreal Canadians street signPhoto: Courtesy Leo Boudreau

A faithful Montreal Canadiens fan

This story begins in the mid-1990s when my wife Jane Allen and I were living in London, Ont. Despite living in Ontario, where either the Toronto Maple Leafs or the Ottawa Senators are usually front and centre, it did not deter me from being a number one Montreal Canadiens’ fan. To begin with, as a young fella, I remember listening to the Canadiens’ games on the radio with my dad. It was the 1940s, when Rocket Richard was taking off in his career—I was hooked. The Montreal Canadiens were my team from then on.

Anyway, back to London. My wife was in the air force and was posted to London at HMCS Prevost (a naval reserve division), while I, as a retired Army guy of 32 years, as well as being retired from a nine-year stint as a real estate consultant in Dartmouth, N.S., moved there along with our daughter, Amanda. We took every opportunity to explore the area and orientate ourselves in our new surroundings. One time at a yard sale, I noticed a sign that read “Montreal Canadiens Ave.” and I just had to have it. As soon as we got home, it was proudly displayed in our backyard.

In 2001, we left London and moved back to Nova Scotia—Truro to be exact. Jane retired from the air force after 27 years of service, and I retired (for the third time) from a security firm where I had worked for about four years. We moved into a home in Truro with a 100-foot double-car driveway—an ideal place to install my sign!

It just so happened that my birthday fell around that time and I received an identical sign as a gift. It looked even better now that I could display the same sign on both sides of the sign pole.

I received many comments about my sign from passers-by, however, not everyone around Truro is a Canadiens’ fan and I sometimes received warnings that the sign must go—all in jest of course. This was especially true during the playoffs; I cannot repeat what was hung on the sign the morning after a Canadiens’ loss to another team! For better or worse, my sign became a real conversation piece.

After five years, we sold our house and moved to an apartment, still in Truro, but that brought an end to enjoying my “Montreal Canadiens Ave.” sign being hung outside my home.

It was not the end of the sign itself, however. A close friend of mine, Jack Roy, a retired navy guy, loved the sign as much as I did. He and his family were also fanatical Montreal Canadiens’ fans so off it went to Harvey Station, N.B. Regretfully, Jack passed away a few years ago and we all still miss him terribly, but the sign is still displayed in their Harvey Station home.

If you visit the Maritimes, as you approach Fredericton, look for the exit to Harvey, and follow that road for about 15 minutes. Eventually, you’ll come upon my old sign on the left-hand side of the road, at the entrance to their driveway—Montreal Canadiens Ave.

Next, find out what it’s like growing up trilingual in the Prairies!

Originally Published in Our Canada

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