THE KILT - At the 2015 Montreal Highland Games

Eastern Canada re-visited

It is with a grateful heart that I share with our Pipestone Flyer readers my summer holiday in Montreal...

It is with a grateful heart that I share with our Pipestone Flyer readers my summer holiday in Montreal, Quebec City and Lighthouse Cove in Ontario. I revisited the land of my childhood and teen years: Montreal hasn’t changed much since last year, proudly displaying a thriving spirit, congested traffic on wide thoroughfares, glorious weather and interesting attractions…

Downtown Montreal, a visit to my childhood school Villa Ste Marcellines that sits on Mount Royal behind the iconic Oratory St Joseph and College Marie-de-France on Côte-des-Neiges were fun and sentimental excursions.

Old Montreal is always fascinating with its impressive architecture and proud history, friendly bistros, interesting shops, artists and musicians set up on cobblestone streets. My companion and I took a drive to visit St. Helen Island, host of Montreal’s Expo 67, where the huge sphere that was the U.S pavilion is now an environmental museum.

The 2015 Montreal Highland Games, a 38th annual event, is an icon of Montreal culture, paying homage to its proud Scottish history and taking place in the Verdun borough. History in song and dance, strong man competitions and cultural displays made this a memorable day. After the massed bands, an impressive performance by more than 400 members of Scottish bands in a crowd of thousands of spectators, we stopped to chat with a couple performers, members of the Edmonton-based Viscount Park Pipe Band. Low and behold, the female musician was Valerie Nicoll, mother of Keltie Nicoll, a City of Leduc firefighter. The only Alberta athlete was Joel Thiessen of High River.

Quebec City offers a unique blend of modern and historic architecture: old churches like the amazing St Michel de Sillery with its nearby cannons lined up to overlook the river are always fascinating to visit. Old Quebec offers a dizzying array of French bistros with stellar cuisine, artists on pedestrian streets and public troubadours. The double-decker touring buses provide a wonderful way to visit historic sites, in just a few hours!.

After Quebec, it was time for a different pace: we flew to Lighthouse Cove, a 40 minute drive south of the Windsor airport. My friend Valerie Warnock, a Telford Lake resident in Leduc, is blessed to also own a lovely house on the shore of Lake St. Clair, a lake that is 25 miles across! This tight-knit southern Ontario community boasts a truly wonderful southern weather and a fascinating history: all of its canals were dug to build up the streets, creating a Venice-like town where small and large yachts, sailboats and fishing vessels come and go all year long! The highlights of our visit were kayaking, playing Relic on her beach (taking away stray logs with a jet ski is challenging and fun!) and relaxing on Valerie’s deck, watching the boats and a multitude of birds go by. The annual “Christmas in August” Lighthouse Cove event was awesome, as several impressive sailboats arrived at the popular Lighthouse Inn, joyously decorated in a Christmas theme… Oh my, that was quite the memorable holiday.

 

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