Thursday, September 17, 2009


Montreal has almost none of these bridges that connect buildings overground. Apparently we frown on them and instead stress the unseen beauty of our underground tunnels. Here is a rare find, out on Panet East End Montreal. It's even East of Amherst. Rough part of town, don't go there without a bodyguard or risk attack by rabid transexual hookers tossing hurtful critiques of your footwear from their windows.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The history of Brodie Farm, now known as Oxford Park, Montreal

The Brodie clan came to Canada from Scotland and settled into the area around Upper Lachine Road and Oxford Avenue, now known as Oxford Park. Here is a 10 page pdf family document handed me by the elderly local head of the clan a couple of years back.

The Air Raid Shelter under Mount Royal

January 1942: it sure looked like Hitler's German Armies would emerge triumphant in the Second Great War. So here in Montreal a city architect planned a tunnel that would start at Dominion Square, go to Peel and then go right to the center of Mount Royal. It would contain a massive underground garage with the elevators in this latest drawing. In times of war the garage would be used for anti aircraft purposes and could protect 60,000 as an air raid shelter. It would cost $6 to $7 million. This illustration was published in La Presse, January 31, 1942.

Real Estate in Montreal - Kinda overpriced dontcha think?

If you're familiar with what a house goes for nowadays in Montreal, check out these MLS ads from March 26, 2001: 7024-7206 Somerled -, a duplex with an asking price of$120,000. The Bank of Canada interest rate was 5% at the time, already quite low. The other listing: 5458- 5460 Trans Island, - duplex going for $115,000, they'd already knocked $34,000 off the original asking price.

In the first example, if you had negotiated the vendor down to $110,000 you would have had to come up with about $17,000 to purchase because it would surely have been covered under the CMCH 85% deal. You would have been paying $540 a month, a payment you would have made easily by renting out one of the floors. So you would be living there for free as the tenant would be paying your way. After eight years you would now owe $74,000 on the place. Your tenant moves. You hike the rent up to $1,000 a month. You to get a new mortgage for $200,000 at 25 years at 3.85% which costs a grand a month. So your tenant is still paying for the property but you've now got a bank account with $126,000 cool cash in it.

Not sure what such a property would cost now in 2009 but it's probably around four times those prices. Blame constantly declining interest rates, which have made massive debts easily manageable. If say, in 2014 those those 3 percent rates go up to 9 percent or so, expect massive foreclosures.

Monday, September 14, 2009

!Q? What year was this photo of the bank on Wellington taken?

Answer: Yeah, someone got it. The photo was taken a few weeks ago. The building was long painted white. It's the home of a Architecture Professor Sijpkes (someone tell him there's $627 in unclaimed cash for him under SIJPRES, PETER) from McGill. They show plays there now and then. I took a regular photo and made it look old on photoshop. Tried to obscure the sign and mailbox but didn't realize that the electrical transformer was a giveaway. Thought the guy's clothing might be a tipoff though.

Quiz - where in Montreal is this lovely bench?

Quiz answer: it's outside the courthouse on St. Lawrence and Notre Dame. "What a beautiful dog," says the guy who likes his women the way he likes his coffee and really doesn't like pit bulls one bit, "can I take a picture?" "Okay sure if it's a picture of the dog."

Montrealers - we've all got foreheads - this one belongs to which legendary (do we overuse 'legendary'?) forehead

Hi there. The answer is: it's Jean Drapeau. Johnny Flag was a longtime mayor here in Montreal and the square across from the front door at city hall features a large sized statue of the guy who was widely criticized during his reign but also managed to score upwards of 90 percent in elections, (1970) and brought the Olympics and The World's Fair of 1967 to the Islande Citye on the St. Lawrence.

!-!-Q-!-! ? Who is Danny D and of what money making business was he the Montreal pioneer?

Correct reply alert --- ! Danny Dooner was the local pioneer of the Irish Pub, which people realized much later - particularly after Alexanders on Peel started serving Guiness on tap - is a license to print rectangular prints of the Queen. He then went on to co-own the Hunter's Horn on Peel, which predates the Old Dublin and lasted from 1970 until about 1985. Hurley's and McKibbins are among the city's current thriving Irish pubs, joints where the idea is about drinking booze and less about dancing or other cool-oriented stuff.

Dooner was also involved as part owner of CFOX radio along with Gord Sinclair and also owned a restaurant on Greene Avenue in the late 80s.