Saturday, June 26, 2010

Urban bike tour: Giant Heads of Montreal

A copy of an Easter Island Moai giant head at the excellent Point a Calieres museum.

Newly renovated Dorchester Park has this delightful lion's head.

Other giants appear, in this case the Guaranteed Pure Milk bottle.

Diabolical demonic dog heads on St-Hubert in the Plateau

Joseph Beaubien doesn't look diabolical at all. He looks like he just won a street fight.

This head doesn't look anything like Réné Levesque.

Slightly more realistic photo-illustration of the Réné we knew and loved

Hey lady, please I've got an itchy nose... help!

Seriously, the Easter Island (Ile au Paques) exhibition at Point a Calliere museum is excellent. and a must-see for 2010.

Prime Minister Wilfred Laurier, and a couple of 20th century canucks

Some of us are looking for an on-island bike tour, so we gave it a few brain cells and came up with... The Giant Heads of Montreal bike tour.

Head #1 Easter island Moai head sculpture (this head was sculpted at Expo 67)
Location: in front of Pointe a Callieres archeology museum in Old Montreal on de la Commune. Visit the exhibition on Easter Island inside at the museum, it's very interesting. The museum's permanent exhibit of the archeology of Montreal is always excellent. This is a good starting point to explore 1) the vieux port (old port), Old Montreal, and the Lachine canal bike path.

Head #2 Réné Levesque
Location: West side of Hydro-Quebec building on boulevard Réné Levesque
Réné was the architect of nationalizing Quebec's electricity industry, and of separating Quebec from the rest of Canada. He's the principle "saint" of the Quebec separatist movement.

Head #3 Pierre Elliot Trudeau
Location: Park located at corner of Stephen Leacock and Chemin Mackle beside the Arena Sam Moskovitch in Cote-St-Luc (it is a quite a long way from the others)
Trudeau was the arch-nemesis of Levesque and the separatist. Loved by anglos, hated by the french, the westerners, Richard Nixon, so we renamed the Dorval airport after him. While here, ponder when boulevard Cavendish will pass through the rail yards and connect western Montreal with St-Laurent, a long-overdue transportation link.

Head #4 Joseph Beaubien

Parc Beaubien, Outremont along the Cote-Ste-Catherine bike path
Beaubien was a builder of Montreal as we know it today. The location of his head sculpture in an Outremont park is a nice little urban oasis-destination for a summer picnic.

Head 5: Jean F. Kennedy
Avenue President Kennedy (north side of Place des Arts)

One of the bigger heads of all time, Copernicus at the Montreal Planetarium. Copernicus is THE founding father of modern astronomy


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