Harry Cohen was a hardworking Canadian immigrant....
Harry Cohen lived a spirited, but rather ordinary life as a Jewish Canadian immigrant in 1930’s Montreal, doing his best to get by and teach his children the value of hard work. He traveled the back roads connecting Ottawa and Montreal and knew them like the back of his hand. As a poultry re-seller, he made the rounds for fresh chickens from the rural farmers to resell in Montreal’s Jean Talon Market. His legacy should have been one of farming or real estate or perhaps industry but instead Harry Cohen has the tragic distinction of being the only Canadian killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust.
In 1939, Cohen travelled back to Poland to help settle family business affairs. While there, he suffered the horrific bad luck of being stuck in the wrong place at the wrong time as Poland was invaded by Germany. His exact fate remains clouded in mystery, but he is assumed to have died at Auschwitz. Against all odds, his prayer shawl survived and found its way back to Canada, to Harry Cohen’s son, and to its permanent home at the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre.
There's a lot of old stories in the Old Port
A night out on the town is always a treat when I'm in Montreal, but when faced with a solo visit I had to admit I was a bit stumped on what I should do to pass the time. I decided to bring one of my favourite autumn activities into summer and head out on a ghost walk with Fantomes Montreal.
Our tour guide, Madeline, was certainly in a festive, "spirited" mood. Dressed up in period costume, she brought centuries old decedents back to life with her animated storytelling. Our evening began outside the Museum of Archaeology, on the exact site of where the city of Montreal was founded over 350 years ago. As you can imagine, with so many centuries of history, Montreal has racked up quite a few murders and mishaps and Madeline was keen to share many gruesome details of torture and torment in New France.
Montreal is indulgence, romance, and traffic.
If you want the charm, sophistication, and excitement of a European city without leaving North America, look no further than Montreal. This beautiful, cosmopolitan city is home to the second largest community of Francophones outside of Paris and is a host to hundreds of other ethnic groups. This is a city not to be missed! Here are 5 of my favourite things about Montreal (and a few complaints as well).
Montreal residents drink, consume carbs, say yes to desserts, embrace leisure time and happy hour, and generally embrace the finer things in life along with a few vices. No one in this city will look twice if you order another bottle of wine, eat a bagel for breakfast AND lunch, or suggest taking an afternoon off to relax at the spa.
The Montreal Tower Observatory is a world record holder...
Move over, Leaning Tower of Pisa. Step aside, Towers of Bologna. I tackled the Guinness Book of World Records holder for the tallest inclined tower – and I won!
At 165 meters high, and angled at 45 degrees, the Montreal Tower Observatory is indeed a world record holder, and by quite a bit. Its more famous cousin, in Pisa, is only a paltry 3.99 degrees. Designed as part of the 1967 Olympic Park, the Tower is now at the center of a large recreation and tourism complex whose neighbours include the Montreal Botanical Gardens, the Insectarium, the Biodome, and the Plantarium.
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