The Bulletin: The death of Montreal's old ways [Issue #37]

The Bulletin is a collection of what's happened, what’s happening, and what’s to come in and around Montreal.

The Main

The Main

August 10, 2023- Read time: 9 min
The Bulletin: The death of Montreal's old ways [Issue #37]Photo: Dave Sidaway/Montreal Gazette (Instagram)

Even with the return of festivals like Under Pressure and ÎleSoniq this weekend, there's an almost dour vibe going through the town right now: Many seem to be focused on the death of the old ways in Montreal.

True, we've still got our institutions here and there, but read through the stories below and you'll find many things you may very well have taken for granted slowly being phased out of the landscape. Artists, restaurants, furniture shops, even dépanneurs—they all represent a past time and place that seem to be fading out of existence.

That's the funny thing about the things in our lives that seem to have lasted the longest. The preservation of heritage buildings, for example, is only effective when you never notice it was overhauled by architects and construction companies.

The power that these things hold over us is something we may not always notice during the day to day, but it will be known once it's gone.

We suppose that what we're trying to say is: Love what you have as best you can while you have it.


  • The Dark Side of the Moon, an immersive audiovisual experience based on the work of Pink Floyd, is taking place in the SAT's dome. It's one of the few venues around the world that have access to putting on the show.
  • Artists from Indigenous communities from all over the Americas have gathered to celebrate their rich cultures and histories at the 33rd Montreal First Peoples' Festival.
  • Festival Orientalys, a celebration of artists from across three continents—from the Maghreb to China, Spain, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Cambodia, India, Japan and many others—kicks off in the Old Port.
  • Over at the café and creative space Aux angles ronds, 3 new artists—@loopkin_514 , @dreacollage and—will be exhibited; it's free entrance, with food and drinks available.
  • The annual tennis tournament of the Canadian Open is currently underway at IGA Stadium in Jarry Park.
  • Off the Hook is welcoming Montreal-based visual artist Pony and her latest "All-Stars" collection alongside a few pieces from her upcoming collection.


  • It ain't exactly in Montreal, but man oh man is it worth it: The International Balloon Festival of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu is taking place, and if you haven't been, you'd be surprised at how much is going on there.
  • Otakuthon, the bilingual annual convention for all ages for celebrating anime, manga, games, Japanese culture and its community, is back.
  • How's a secretive backyard comedy show in PSC sound?
  • The 30-year-old ItalfestMTL continues to honour the beauty and richness of Italy in the streets of Montreal with free activities and events.
  • Fierté Montreal and its 11-day showcase of equality and inclusion—including free shows, panels, Community Days and Pride Parade—continues.


  • Under Pressure is back with their annual festival devoted to Hip Hop culture, committed to recreating the vibe of NYC block parties from the 70s.
  • Canada's largest electronic music festival ÎleSoniq starts its two days of fist-pumping and head-banging.
  • Plateau Astro is hosting a Perseides Meteor Shower workshop to catch them all without having to leave the city limits.
  • The Montreal Makers Market returns with a gathering over at St Jean Berchmans Church, where 70+ vendors selling accessories, plants, candles, art, stickers, clothing, woodwork and more.
  • The 28th Under Pressure Annual Graffiti Festival's got a special event: THROWBACK '73, involving live painting at Foufounes.
  • Parc La Fontaine's got an anarchist flea market going down: Everyone's welcome to exhibit passions, hobbies and seasonal entichements.
  • Speaking of Parc La Fontaine, have you caught one of the free shows at Theatre de Verdure yet? Saturday's got Rodrigo Simões, a Brazilian jazz guitarist.


  • Join thousands of marchers to celebrate the progress of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities and to highlight their demands with the Pride Parade.
  • The MBAM's got a new large-scale exhibition proposing new ways of approaching the world around us and a new perspective on Colombian art.
  • If the sun's out? Village au Pied-du-Courant, our premiere urban beach project located alongside the Saint-Lawrence River, is throwing regular parties.
  • Dive down into the basement of Sans Soleil for a show by Club Soda and DJ LK.
  • Jean-Pierre Melville's Army Of Shadows is the next film that'll be presented by Film Noir au Canal—bring blankets, drinks, and good company.

Welldun is a new spot for pizza pies in Verdun. (Photo: @welldunpizza / Instagram)


This section dishes out the scoop on restaurant openings, new menus, old classics—you name it.

  • Folks looking for an aperitivo would do well to check out Bar Bello, a new Little Italy watering hole with a Negroni vending machine.
  • Verdun's got a new pizzeria with Welldun, serving pan pizzas and Detroit-style pies that are super easy on the eyes.
  • Opened at the end of July, Café Cosé has joined Pointe-Saint-Charles to serve coffee and snacks with a few Vietnamese touches.
  • The Montreal caviste Vinorama is ringing in Pride with a special by-the-glass evening on Thursday.
  • From August 8 to 12, @primavin_vinvivant is taking over @knuckles.mtl with a by-the-glass wine list featuring huge glou-glou magnums.
  • Wine promoter Déserteur is hosting a pizzaké night combining pizza and sake at Osmo x Marusan; providing the right pairings, they're swearing it'll be a perfect match.
  • The recently opened, upscale convenience store Dépanneur comptoir will be hosting a cider pop-up with Turbulence, serving grilled sardines to go with it.

ICYMI: A weekly round-up of the latest local news, from entertainment to current affairs and more.

The man behind the Mile End's Jardin du Crépuscule

Glen LeMesurier has been creating public art in Mile End for almost 25 years. A true Montreal artist, he began working on the sculpture garden in 1999, when he says the lot was just a scrapyard. Over the years, he says he took inspiration from other sculpture gardens across the world. (CBC Montreal)

Meet the artist who turned Montreal into an open-air gallery with over 200 sculptures | CBC News
Glen LeMesurier began working on his Twilight Sculpture Garden in 1999 when it was an empty lot. Since then, he has filled it with 80 sculptures and a field of sweet clover. But with the physical and financial toll of metalworking catching up with him, the artist is now asking for the public’s help.

Are we losing a piece of our soul?

Several historic restaurants have closed in recent years here, many of which were the source of dishes that you may very well have never had the chance to have tasted. New restaurants are continuing to open, but are those places one that seek to embody another generation, or are they just trend pieces? (Le Devoir)

Les portions perdues de notre patrimoine culinaire
De nombreux établissements familiaux ont fermé leurs portes à Montréal, emportant avec eux des plats iconiques.

Bodegas. Konbinis. Superettes.

Call them what you want elsewhere, but here in Montreal, they're dépanneurs: No-frills convenience stores, independent mom-and-pop operations that are local fixtures in the neighbourhoods. Thing is, they may be a dying breed, as profits are slim and the work hours are onerous. (Montreal Gazette)

An ode to Montreal’s old-school dépanneurs, ‘part of our heritage’
Paying homage to the city’s signature convenience stores as they strive to survive in this big box world.

Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do

Smack dab in the middle of the tourist season and four months after the fatal fire in Old Montreal, hundreds of apartments are still available on the Airbnb platform in areas where they're prohibited with fake registration numbers. But, there's a new municipal squad preparing to flush them out. (La Presse)

Montréal s’attaque aux centaines d’Airbnb illégaux
En pleine saison touristique et quatre mois après l’indignation suscitée par l’incendie mortel du Vieux-Montréal, des centaines d’appartements sont toujours offerts sur la plateforme Airbnb dans des secteurs où ils sont pourtant interdits. Ils affichent de faux numéros d’enregistrement ou contournen…

Hockey, riots, and historical English-French tensions (with hockey riots)

Arizona O'Neill is back, and this time she's looking at hockey riots in Montreal, in particular a riot in the Montreal Forum triggered by the NHL's treatment of star Montreal Canadiens' player Maurice "Rocket" Richard during a game against the Bruins—and its connection to Quebec's Quiet Revolution. (CBC Montreal)

How a hockey riot started a revolution in Quebec | CBC News
For CBC Creator Network, Arizona O’Neill looks at riots in sports and explains how the NHL’s treatment of star Montreal Canadiens’ player Maurice “Rocket” Richard led to tear gas in the Montreal Forum and violence in the street. And how it paved the way for Quebec’s Quiet Revolution.

A long overdue pilot project

The Indigenous Health Center of Tiohtià:ke will open an urgent care clinic for Indigenous people this week, and it's the first of its kind in Montreal. Indigenous-identifying people can present themselves and obtain care from a doctor and nurses with a blend of traditional and Western healthcare. (Radio-Canada)

Une clinique d’urgence pour Autochtones ouvre à Montréal
Le Centre de santé autochtone de Tiotihà:ke (Indigenous Health Centre of Tiohtià:ke) ouvrira cette semaine une clinique de soins d’urgence pour Autochtones, une première du genre à Montréal.

Do you smell what Montreal is cooking?

If you know, you know, but if you don't? Montreal's got a robust wrestling scene. In fact, calling it a 'scene' barely cuts it: In this piece, the International Wrestling Syndicate (IWS) is in the spotlight, and surprise surprise, it's far more inclusive than the big name events you see on pay-per-view. (The Rover)

“It Changed the Way I Saw Myself” – The Rover
At the International Wrestling Syndicate in Montreal, women dropkick wrestling’s glass ceiling.

Down, down, down into the burnin' ring of fire

A dozen newsletters ago, we shared a striking piece on how there's been as many accounts of arson in Montreal as there were days in the year. Now, with this latest piece, we've officially surpassed that number with at least 320 cases. (La Presse)

Incendie criminel | « On est insécure, ça fait peur »
Une victime collatérale d’un incendie criminel visant un commerce de la rue de Bellechasse témoigne de l’angoisse vécue à la suite de son évacuation en pleine nuit tandis que la métropole connaît une vague de crimes de ce type.

Rural tables across the province

We hate to say it, but the summer season is coming to an end, so why not rage, rage against the setting of the sun by dining out in gardens, around lakes, in the woods, and on the farms of these rural tables near and far from the city? (Fine Dining Lovers)

A guide to Québec’s tables champêtres
Summer abounds at these trendy (and delicious) tables at rural farms across the Canadian province. Ivy Lerner-Frank finds out more.

The story between two slices of rye bread

In this 2006 documentary by Jeanne Pope, she follows the process of making smoked meat at The Main Deli Steakhouse and its owner Peter Varvaro alongside people who work there and Varvaro's friend, the legendary Montreal sculptor Stanley Lewis. (YouTube)

And that wraps yet another weekly bulletin. We’ll be back with more curiosities, local stories, and events to discover next week.

If ever you catch something we should know, reach out to us on Instagram.