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Here are some items that I recommend:


This documentary was created in honour of Montreal's 375th anniversary. This superbly crafted set of 5 episodes (on 5 DVD's) tells the story of Montreal in both English and French. You will learn something new about this fascinating city, even if you were born there. Enjoy!


The Lachine Canal and its industrial complex provide a window not only onto the history of Montreal and Quebec but also onto that of modern Canada. Only just beneath the surface of these events, it is possible to make out the evolution of inland shipping and a portion of the Canadian merchant marine, the development of a manufacturing industry, the growth of the labour movement, and the passage from a rural to an urban world.
— Yvon Desloges and Alain Gelly, "The Lachine Canal - Riding the Waves of Industrial and Urban Development 1860-1950"

What is the Lachine Canal? Find out why it was made, how it was remade and what it contributed to Canada. Learn about its complementary and competing aspects as a shipping corridor, energy source and industrial water supply.

This wonderfully illustrated book presents a comprehensive history of the Lachine Canal from many points of view. You will come away with a deep appreciation for the men and women who worked and lived along the canal. Their labours were the heartbeat of Canada's industrialization.


Eminent Hipsters
CDN$ 17.82
By Donald Fagen

This is one of those books you want to keep on reading but dread finishing. It is simply too good to put down. You don't have to be a music fan to enjoy this one. Donald Fagen is too talented to be labeled. His wit, wisdom and dry sense of humour shine through on each page. Buy this book and savour the reading experience. Enjoy!


Goose Village taught me the power of community. The isolation of the Village forced an inter-reliance on everybody. Surrounded by the river, the coal yards, the meat packing plant, the railyards and the towering grain mills, they all served to create a virtual island save for Bridge Street, which was the only way in or out. There was an ‘it’s just us’ feeling in the Village. There were about 350 families living on those few blocks in Goose Village, and it really was quite isolated. Yet it still had everything you needed. People did not feel enveloped or trapped.
— Ed DiZazzo, oral history from "Community & the Human Spirit" by Dave Flavell

This book is a wonderful collection of oral histories and photographs from people who lived in Montreal's Point St. Charles, Griffintown and Goose Village communities. It documents a way of life and a place (i.e., Goose Village a.k.a. "Victoriatown") which have disappeared.

My grandmother and my uncle and his family lived in Point St. Charles. This book brings back the memories of those years. Even if you have no connection to this area, this book will reveal a charming way of life and community spirit which existed in the middle of the 20th century.


Québec My Country Mon Pays
CDN$ 24.97
Starring John Walker, Denys Arcand, Jacques Godbout, Christina Clark, Emilie Gélinas

This documentary is about Canada's silent diaspora. Learn about the more than 600,000 Anglos who were displaced from Quebec since the Quiet Revolution. I am one of them.

I saw the Quiet Revolution up close and personal. My father worked for the Montreal Star newspaper and during the police strike he was called in to work overnight. The protestors had smashed the plate glass windows which showcased the press room at sidewalk level.

When James Cross was kidnapped, Susan, our high school guidance counsellor, was whisked away by the police. She was his daughter. We never saw her again.

The night the War Measures Act was proclaimed, planes and helicopters were flying above our house. We were on the flight path for the armed forces who were deployed overnight from Ontario into Quebec. I also remember a soldier with a rifle boarding and searching our school bus at a road crossing checkpoint.

So, as a displaced Anglo, how do you think I feel about what has happened since?

Let me tell you, that some of the most friendly and generous people live in Quebec. When I was there, it seemed that the poorest people gave the most. Quebec has a rich history and culture. I now know that Quebec is misunderstood and underappreciated by a largely indifferent English Canada.

Pierre Trudeau had the smarts and the savvy.

Rene Lévesque had the heart and the spirit.

It is Canada's loss, that Quebec never signed the Constitution. Now, after years of living in English Canada, I'm not sure if they ever should.

I've met bigots from both the English and French milieus. They are similar in their ignorance of the other side. Could English Canada ever appreciate Quebec? I doubt it. If Quebec eventually does separate, it will be more of a loss to the rest of Canada than it will be to Quebec.

To all of you who complained about the French on your Cornflakes box, you will not understand this. Sadly, you are not expected to.


Montreal's Expo 67
CDN$ 24.57
By Bill Cotter
An Expo press release explained that “the theme ‘Man and His World’ (would) provide a stirring illustration of 20th Century humanism in a fully integrated presentation of Man’s artistic, scientific and philosophical development, the whole permeated by both a feeling of belonging to the community of Man and an awareness of the basic unity of mankind.
— Bill Cotter, "Montreal's Expo 67"

There was, after all, something quite special about a bridge, almost any bridge. Very few were ever outright ugly, and when built right, with everything in harmony, with everything superfluous done away with, with all elements doing exactly what they were supposed to, then a bridge was a thrilling thing to see, with its own kind of graceful majesty, something quite apart from the practicalities of engineering. This was that sort of bridge.
— David McCullough, "The Great Bridge"

Papa Hemingway: A Personal Memoir
CDN$ 20.76
By A. E. Hotchner
There are some things which cannot be learned quickly, and time, which is all we have, must be paid heavily for their acquiring. They are the very simplest things, and because it takes a man’s life to know them the little each man gets from life is very costly and the only heritage he has to leave.
— Ernest Hemingway, quoted in "Papa Hemingway - A Personal Memoir" by A.E. Hotchner

Ernest Hemingway is one of the most misunderstood authors of the 20th century. Don't listen to his detractors. Read his works, all of his works, then make up your own mind. The genius of his writings will endure long after today's politically correct crowd has expired.