Basilicas have given me unrealistic expectations of what a church should look like.

For a couple years, every time I passed by Christ Church in Montreal, it was closed for renovations. In fact, it was closed since 2005. So today, I decided that I would take D* to the church to see the restoration work. I don’t why but I was quite underwhelmed with what I saw.  I have seen some magnificent churches in other places, but I would assume that for the 8 million dollars of work over three years that they put into the church, that there would be something a bit more spectacular in the lines of this :

Of course, the Notre-Dame Basillica in Montreal, is quite the stunning work of art, when it comes to Basilicas in North America, but for all the work, I didn’t really expect to see such a basic church setup after all those years of work:

Maybe I just expected more. Of course, Anglican churches are supposedly more austere than their Catholic sisters, but this is the effect of unrealistic expectations.

So after being thoroughly underwhelmed, we (meaning I) decided to walk down St. Catherine Street. towards Place des Arts to see the fountains. I always love that particular part of Montreal, as it reminds me of Jazz, Dairy Queen and midnight by the lights. I had not ventured this way, in about a year but stumbled upon this public art piece made of recycled oil barrels.

In the sunlight, it was quite the little sight. This was what I found on it at

Montréal, May 26, 2009 –Philippe Allard and Justin Duchesneau are the winners of the 7th edition of Place des Arts’ Ephemeral Artwork Competition, with a work titled Rainbow, an installation made up of 60 coloured steel barrels, which will be on display in the Esplanade pool at Place des Arts over the summer.
As socially engaged artists, sculptor Philippe Allard and architect Justin Duchesneau have designed a work whose goal is to liven up the Esplanade and raise awareness at the same time. “The sound made by water contacting sheet metal brings to mind the industrial world, its rhythm and efficiency, but the use of barrels on a black sea recalls our dependency on fossil fuels and the environmental disasters that follow as a result,” explain the artists

Now of course this would be called Rainbow…. ah the Francophones…. masters of the obvious!

It was quite a nice public art piece that really suited the summer heat.  It was a scorchingly hot day, so we decided to head over to Chinatown. Now Montreal’s chinatown is definitely not as large as some of the other North American chinatowns ala San Francisco, New York, Vancouver or Toronto, but for some reason the little 5 block radius has tremendous charm to it. Of course, with the translations of some things, you get mishaps like this BEER GARDEN that was named

But at least you can bring your own wine. It’s so tough to find these “BYOW” places in Toronto, but in Montreal, it is definitely the norm. Montreal’s Chinatown is definitely quaint, if nothing else.

By the time we had walked all the way from the St James Church to Chinatown and then up through Complex Desjardins,

we were completely sopped from the heat, so it was back to the air conditioned comfort of the car. Next stop was the Botanical Gardens and Olympic Stadium.


Photolink :

About Rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at

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