Images and words by Bob Moss
The day began at 6:30 am, leaving Toronto’s Union Station for Montreal. Two first class tickets, courtesy of VIA Rail, made the journey to the Fairmont Hotel in Montreal exquisite! Publisher Leslie Smith provided direction with equal amounts of charm while I photographed how design reveals itself in French Canada’s historical city. The town embodies a dynamic cultural uniqueness, it breathes originality.
The French language reverberates in the streets, carrying a palatable electricity from its beautiful inhabitants. I hope these photos, with support from Vistek, illuminate the ‘feel’ of what we experienced.
La mode citadine
November 28, 4 p.m. — 9 p.m.
Arriving in Montreal, a chill hung in the air. After checking into the grand Fairmont Hotel, our eyes patrolled the streets in preparation of the assignment. Stunning women, tailored people of all ages heading to their destinations in style. Designer apparel matched by fine footwear, faux fur and leopard print, seemed to be the chic look. Designer salons decorated with ornate Christmas adornments, limousines full of people enjoying the city from within. The Chabanel area is home to the finest fashion houses, manufacturers, importers and agents. At night we spent hours in Old Montreal, the cobblestone roads lined with restaurants and nightclubs populated by people of all ages. Design embodies our lives, many just haven’t understood that reality. It openly and subliminally enhances life.
Vie nocturne citaden
November 29, Midnight — 4 a.m.
Tripping through the seventies and into the year 2015, going ‘dark’ is good. Everything old is new again. The old city with its caverns remains a bastion for interior design and architectural beauty. Les and I met dynamic transgender hipsters inside the grotto at Cabaret Mado, where the cabaret is their raison d’etre. Ours was to observe, experiencing the city as it continues to be… unique. Enter into the Velvet, fuelled by nature’s under-30 crowd, a spectacular mix of bodies drowning in libation and sensation. Although our ears have fallen victim to father time, the boom of high fidelity was easy to hear! Vive Montreal!
Ville de passion
November 30, 8 a.m. — noon
Love is the foundation of our existence. Montreal openly expresses its affinity for passion, its people are clearly comfortable in their freedom of expression. At their wedding, as the cold permeated the city, the bride and groom felt no chill, for they were now as one. As a romantic by nature, my heart warmed thinking of the relationship I’ve been blessed to experience with them. A vast concourse of onlookers shared in the joy of this celebration, the design of the dress piercing the concrete backdrop in an expression of this beautiful city. Merci Montréal, la ville qui ne déçoit jamais!
This article originally appeared in the January/February 2015 issue of Designedge Canada magazine.