RUE DE LA PELTRIE STATEMENT
My father had a stroke on November 6, 2012, so I returned to Montreal to be with him. He was brought to the Jewish General Hospital located in the neighborhood where I spent most of my childhood. We lived within walking distance from the hospital and my nanny and grandpa lived right around the corner on St. Kevin, the hospital itself is on Cote St Catherine. With the sadness of my father's hospitalization also came the joyful memories of the multitude of journeys I made up and down these many streets as a kid. There was Victoria Street, where my grandfather bought his challah every Friday night, and Van Horne where I shopped at the local Steinberg's grocery store and the home of The Van Horne School, which I attended through the sixth grade. This was a place of middle class Jews, who settled first in Montreal from Eastern Europe and Russia, and then moved onto the suburbs. Such was the nostalgia that returned to me from a place where my heart has always beaten louder and with a smile. As my father lay in his bed recovering from his "medical event" I journeyed up and down the streets I ran and skated on as a child. I lived for winter to come as I would then join all my schoolmates at Van Horne Park for hockey games every day after school. It was so cold out, but we never noticed, once our toes froze we didn't remember the cold anyway. One street that rode hard on my memory was Rue de la Peltrie, where my old friend Allen Ponak lived. From its rise at the base of Mont Royal to its abrupt end at Westbury Avenue it reflected the true breadth and width of our small community. As I left the hospital one afternoon last week I turned on Legare and walked to the top of Rue de la Peltrie. There, before my eyes was a sight extraordinaire, from top to bottom appeared a never ending flow of the plastic, in the form of Tempo (the brand name) plastic driveway covers. These were often erected in early November and lasting in place until mid April, these plastic canopies stretched on steel frames, were designed to keep the heavy snows at bay and off the front driveways, during Montreal's mostly cold and snowy and miserable winters, unless of course you were prone to liking the extremes weather has to offer up there. There would be no driveway snows to shovel for these residents protected by their Tempo canopies. Many had made their new homes in my old haunt, coming mostly from the Philippines and Sri Lanka. So come with me and drift down this plastic wasteland, while my father, who survived his first and hopefully last stroke, is home and making everyone crazy again.