Architectural diversity

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Montreal, Quebec, Canada

There is definitely nothing bland about Montreal’s cityscape. This is a view snapped a few days ago of some buildings near Bleury and President-Kennedy streets.

Tree of Life

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Montreal, Quebec, Canada

I can’t tell you how many times I might have walked past the piece of public art called “L’arbre de vie” (Tree of Life) at the Lionel-Groulx métro station in Montreal … but only this week did I notice the faces etched into the tree trunk.

Mayor and City Councillors

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Montreal, Quebec,Canada

The mayor and city councillors meet at city hall … and in Montreal, they also meet at this intersection. Figuratively, of course.

Avenue Viger

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Montreal, Quebec, Canada

The slate-coloured Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal complex dominates the skyline at the east end of downtown Montreal, as seen from the pedestrian overpass above Avenue Viger linking Place d’Armes métro station with Chinatown. Also depicted in this scene captured a few days ago, in the far background, are a portion of the Jacques-Cartier Bridge and the soon-to-be-retired Molson Brewery.

Imperfect mirrors

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Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Montreal’s KPMG Tower, above, shows a reflection of the main building at Place Ville-Marie … while one of the buildings in the PVM complex, below, shows a reflection of the KPMG Tower.

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

The power of light: A Montreal mural

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Montreal, Quebec, Canada

This mural at Jeanne-Manse and President-Kennedy streets in Montreal has been around at least since I was a kid. I tripped out at it then … and it still makes me trip out now.

Social network

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Montreal, Quebec, Canada

An inventive piece of street-art-style marketing spotted in Montreal.

Happy Year of the Dog

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Montreal, Quebec, Canada

To all those celebrating the lunar new year, I hope you have a fantastic holiday. These festive lanterns are outside a shop in Montreal’s Chinatown.

Waiting at the gate

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Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Sometimes, things just line up as they should. Spotted at the Calgary airport the other day: A Bombardier Q400 in the foreground in legacy Air Canada livery, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner behind it in new Air Canada paint, and the skyline of downtown Calgary between their tail fins.

Observations from a year of riding Calgary Transit

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Calgary Transit, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Calgary Transit bus 7940 (New Flyer D40LF) operates on line 1 at Kensington Road and 10 Street N.W., spotted in mid-December 2017.

“You’re going to need a car.”

As I was getting ready to move to Calgary way-back-when, this was the near-universal advice from friends who’d lived in the city or knew even a little bit about the place. The idea was not really up for debate: Being able to drive and having a vehicle were part of my conditions of employment, so there was no question as to whether I would own a car.

For years after settling into Alberta’s largest city, I took for granted the idea I would always need to rely on my vehicle for almost every trip of any significant distance — and this despite being consistently vocal in public about how useful transit could be.

Sure, I’d occasionally take the CTrain to an event at the Saddledome or Stampede Park. When Calgary Transit began its bus rapid transit service to the airport, that became my preferred transportation option for catching a flight and returning home, whenever this was possible. A handful of times a year, I’d randomly take the train somewhere — usually for a photowalk, other times just because. But for commuting to work, going to the gym, running errands or visiting with friends, the car was king.

Eventually, several events occurred over the span of a few years which would cause me to think about my choices when it comes to travelling longer distances within Calgary.

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