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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Patriotic snow pile

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Calgary, Alberta, Canada

In case you haven’t noticed … there’s a lot of snow in Calgary these days! This snapshot of a person-high pile of snow was from this past weekend.

Guarding the Odeon

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Munich, Germany

From my visit to Munich in September 2015.

Punctuated

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Punctuated

One of several characters part of a public art project embedded in the sidewalk at the Providence Park light rail station in Portland, Oregon. I didn’t notice them until my last visit to the city back in December — assuming they’ve been there for a while.

Figures at Cologne Cathedral

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Köln, Germany

Some of the sculptures at the cathedral in Cologne, Germany. This snapshot is from September 2015, when I took advantage of train transfer for a brief wander in the city centre.

Pyramid of Edmonton

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Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

One of the glass-and-steel pyramids that make up Edmonton City Hall. This photo was captured on a quick trip to the city last year.