Prior marrying me, my wife resided in the Outremont section of Montreal, where we took strolls in Pratt Park. It is one of eight parks designed between 1910 and 1931 by a legendary local trio: engineer Émile Lacroix, landscape architect Aristide Beaugrand-Champagne and horticulturalist Thomas Barnes.
Three of them, Saint Viateur, Outremont, and Beaubien, have artificial ponds with fountains. Pratt Park was the most special of these, not only because this is where I dated my wife-to-be, but also because it has two ponds connected by a stream, with an isle, and a waterfall. It is a miniature Central Park within a single city block.
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If there was a building in Montreal that occupies a location with the highest historical value, it would be the Pointe-à-Callière Museum, located near the former confluence of the Saint Lawrence and Little Saint Pierre rivers.
The former is a mighty stream that drains from the Great Lakes and serves as the eastern port for Canada. The latter was mostly channeled beneath the city’s streets in 1832, the portion in the museum’s neighborhood as the William Collector Sewer.
The triangular space marked on the 1725 map above is the location of the museum, just south on where the Little Saint Pierre flowed into the Saint Lawrence. Continue reading →