The Village

This winter has been brutal.

The snow arrived early (Nov 12) and hasn’t relented.

Wild temperature swings, ice storms, freeze & thaw & freeze & thaw & freeze again.

On a sunny, reasonably warm (i.e. warmer than -12°C) day one of the best things I can think of doing (other than skiing, of course) is to go for a walk with my camera and revel in the light cast by the still-low winter sun.

On this particular day, I was walking through the Pointe-Claire Village, one of the last places in suburban Montreal that has resisted demolition, gentrification and the onslaught of McMansions. For now, anyhow.

The Village is tiny (less than 1km long end-to-end) and is nestled right by the waters of Lac St-Louis in the mighty St-Lawrence River. Lots of old houses, old businesses and plenty of fixer-uppers make for lots take in.

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Le pont Jacques-Cartier

Not the oldest (that would be the Victoria Bridge) and not the busiest (that would be the Champlain Bridge) arguably the most iconic bridge to connect the island of Montreal to its South Shore is the Jacques Cartier Bridge.

Spanning almost 3.5km from end-to-end, and towering over 100m above the St-Lawrence Seaway (with 50m clearance), this 89-year-old structure looms over Montreal. Almost nobody alive today remembers Montreal without it.

Built to last, it was actually finished ahead of time and under budget!


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Unlike most other major transportation infrastructure in Montreal, the Jacques-Cartier is a testament to the power of regular maintenance and upkeep.

It’s also the only major bridge crossing to the South Shore that not only accommodates cars, but also pedestrians, with sidewalks on both sides of the bridge. In 2001, the sidewalk on the western side of the bridge was converted to a multi-use pathway, for both cyclists and pedestrians.


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A fresh coat of paint and some good light will keep the ol’ JC looking great for years to come.


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There are some parts that still need some paint and TLC. These are located near the centre on Île Ste-Hélène. Let’s just say they add character.


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It wasn't  always  the Jacques-Cartier... it spent the first 4 years of its existence as the "Montreal Harbour Bridge."It wasn't  always  the Jacques-Cartier... it spent the first 4 years of its existence as the "Montreal Harbour Bridge."

It wasn’t always the Jacques-Cartier… it spent the first 4 years of its existence as the “Montreal Harbour Bridge.”

Buckminster’s folly

The Montreal Biosphere is a geodesic dome designed by the American architect Buckminster Fuller to serve as the American pavilion for the 1967 International and Universal Exposition better known to most as Expo 67.

Seventy-six metres in diameter, it’s an imposing structure visible from miles around, and is one of those quintessentially iconic Montreal landmarks.

The dome was originally enclosed with clear acrylic cladding and was conceived as a giant greenhouse of sorts. A fire in 1976 burned away the transparent bubble, leaving the complex truss structure behind. It remained unused until 1990, when it was purchased by Environment Canada to be converted into an interactive museum focused on environmental issues.

All images were shot with a Fujifilm X-T2 in Acros (JPG) with the Fujinon XF35MM F1.4 lens.

Blue before the Blue Hour

The blue hour is the period of twilight in the morning or evening, during the civil and nautical stages, when the Sun is at a significant depth below the horizon and residual, indirect sunlight takes on a predominantly blue shade.

Wikipedia

Turns out you don’t need to wait for the blue hour to get some serious blues. I went out for a walk after work today to stretch my legs and work out my shutter finger.

Arguably, this was the Golden Hour, but I’m not a stickler for that kind of thing. There’s something about the quality of the blue in the winter sky here in Ottawa that you just don’t get at any other time of the year.

Combine a crisp, cold, (almost) cloudless sky with a low winter sun and great things happen.

Shot with the Fujifilm X100F and processed in Capture One Pro.