Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Newly-released old-thyme Montreal newsreel items

British Pathe has released a whole slew of new Montreal-related videos.

Not a whole ton of forechecking in old time hockey as these images from a 1932 hockey game between the Habs and Rangers and nobody can skate backwards!
This one shows Mayor Mederic Martin golfing with the future King Edward VIII in Montreal in 1919. Eddie would come back to visit Martin who was voted in and out of power a few times by a chubby guy, in a sort of earlier version of Coderre-replacing-Tremblay.
Some views of the city as the metro opened in 1966.
Big fire in 1951.

A Montreal Lacrosse player gets swatted on the back of the head by a Toronto rival. Note that the teams are wearing Habs and Leafs jerseys. I can't tell, however whether these are actual hockey players from those teams. Anybody?
Ships caught in ice.
Habs win 1966 Stanley Cup.
 Here's some more luscious views of 1966 Montreal. Scenes from the Lafontaine Park zoo in 1967. Mass weddings in Montreal from 1939. 

Midway Bar closed for good?

   One of the epic longstanding dive bars on the lower Main has closed.
   But the good news is that the Midway, just south of St. C, will reopen in late June with the same name but under different management.
   The bar has been owned by current owner Albert Auclair and his wife for about 30 years and by Auclair's father before him.
  Haven't got time right now to crack open the Lovells to find out how long it has been around but I think it's over 50 years. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Youppi attains new levels of awfulness on unwatchable kids show

Chimples says that we are guilty of nostalgia on this site.
He says that the only antidote is posts like this, showing that the past was, in fact, known most for its limitless attempts to oppress citizens with total crap.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Montreal casino's upcoming facelift

The Montreal casino is supposedly about to undergo a massive facelift and architects are busy thinking up original and not-so-original ideas on what changes could be made to better entice citizens to break out their beleagured after-tax wallets so they could gamble away little Tina and Timmy's college funds and then shoot themselves in the parking lot in front of their loan sharks.
   You'll note that the third image seems deigned to make the joint look like the Starship Enterprise. Lots of flickering LED lights all over the place to dazzle the epileptics.
   These pics are ideas for the renos, don't think they're officially accepted.
A marble stair walk bathed in pink light, who could ask for more?
The vertical loft concept is still popular with architects seeking to persuade their clients to bite on this space-wasting design. Does anybody eve bite on these?
   Beam me up Scotty.
 A new and improved gambling suicide lane, blood conveniently drains downwards into the shrubs. 

Lost sounds of Montreal - the once-ubiquitious steamwhistle

   Friend of Coolopolis MP&I supplied this photo of a now-silenced steamwhistle on a building on Westminster that once provided a soundscape to his childhood in Montreal.
   Steamwhistles were common back then and used industrial sites, such as railways and and on the Lachine Canal.
   The one that stood out was at the roundhouse at the top of Westminster. It told CPR rail employees when shifts started and ended and when to take their breaks. The one photographed was affixed to the roundhouse that was build just prior to 1949.
   You could think of the whistles as a sort of industrial version of the church bell, as people would use it as a reminder of the time.
MP & I in a very difficult-to-shoot mountaintop selfie
    "We used the whistle when walking to and from school on Mariette to judge how much time we could waste," he writes.
   The whistle went silent sometime in the 1960s as more residents came to the area. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Drug queenpin Elizabeth Barrer's life in Montreal

      Fugitive American drug queenpin Elizabeth Barrer, who was killed a few weeks ago in a gangland slaying in Ville St. Pierre, was - according to a source - connected to a local crew.
   Someone who had met her several times told me that she seemed nervous, had dyed her hair blonde and had a slight Russian accent. She was Jewish.
  She also wore knee-high boots, the same style popular with strippers and escorts, so there's a possibility that she might have given the impression that she worked in that domain but she did not.
   Her skin was bad on her face but her backside was a thing of beauty, according to my source.
   She wore tight clothes and was a little rough around the edges.
    The gangsters that she was reputedly seen with were unaware of her real identity or fugitive status. She may or may not have been involved in credit card scams.
   One woman wrote to tell me that Barrer had lived with her in Oregon for a year in the early 90s while both worked as strippers as Jiggles in Tualatin. But I'm not convinced this is the correct person because her age is about 10 years off.
   Another man from Philadelphia said that he went to camp with her in Philadelphia and was quite smitten with her.
  Yet another person reports to having perhaps known her in the summer of 2010. He said he believes she was working as a waitress at O'Regan's on Bishop.
  "One of the waitresses was avoiding prosecution in the US and was very open about it. This woman had a friend that I had seen on occasion but only met once. Her friend came in calling herself Anna. She didn't draw much attention. She had a non-alcoholic drink and sat at the corner of the bar where she could scan the door. Anna (Barrer) looked more like the first picture. She was 'dressed-up' kind of like she was 'working'...... but it was the middle of the day. Expensive clothes, she had a silk shirt on that was open, exposing her chest. She had found a phone and was exchanging sim cards.".
   My source suggests that the root of her problem lies in her dealings with credit cards.
   And of course, check out this other post of a woman claiming to be Barrer's best friend. She said that the same person who killed Barrer is now on the hunt for her.
  If you have any other knowledge of her please drop me a line at 

PKP's firm grip on reality

   So media mogul Pierre Karl Peladeau has really got to be regretting entering politics right now.
   Firstly his side didn't win, so he's a powerless backbencher and he's been fingered with the blame for the loss, as he's the one who totally went off the rails and took a normal-looking speech and injected it with his pitchfork-revolution le-Quebec-au-Quebecois-vive-le-Quebec-libre proclamation by saying that he wants a country for his kids. 
   Jeez, when you're rich your kids want big things I guess.
   So this entire scenario seemed bizarre in the first place because he's already massively powerful and influential and his out-of-Quebec papers are rabidly anti-separatist and as a serious businessman, his denial of economic disturbance under separatism seemed entirely bizarre. 
    He also said in his speech was that he had been counselled by a psychotherapist for his marriage strife.
   Most politicians would likely refer to going to a marriage counsellor or something, so this was a bit of a surprise and even seemed - at the time - a possibly extremely cunning way to gain sympathy. 
   But is it possible that the media baron actually has some large issues? 
   I've been told several gossipy-stories by someone who suggests that they conclude that he might have a difficult grip on reality but was not convinced by the anecdotes. One involved a situation in which a big dog supposedly jumped into his parked convertible at a barbecue in the Laurentians and chewed up the front seat of the very expensive ride, something that apparently drove Peladeau into a wild rage. Not really sure, however, that I would not have been extremely pissed off at such an event myself, so Ima give him a pass.
   Ultimately an argument can be made for anybody being uh, mentally imbalanced and I'll need more evidence before I come to that conclusion in this case, but love the theory nonetheless. 


Quebec's worst artist jailed for being really bad at art

  David Dulac has been kept in a Quebec City jail since last July because his proposal for a performance art school assignment was really, really, really bad.
   How bad was the proposal he submitted?
   Dulac wrote that he would lure children from an elementary school with candy and then kidnap and hit them with a big metal item.
   There's cutting edge and then there's crazy, I guess.
  Seems that he had already done some unsettling performance art stuff in the school prior to that.
   He had rejigged a Duck Hunt game to shoot people. He had cut himself in another performance while walking among the crowd with only a tiny loincloth covering his genitalia and he sang a song about accused killer Luka Magnotta, possibly at at the same time.
   Oh and he also submitted art painted with his own sperm.
   And he also previously proposed another performance art project: someone committing suicide.
   Oh and then there was the fake Molotov cocktail stunt which scared the shit out of everybody.
   He was convicted and jailed. He recently appealed his conviction on the grounds that he didn't actually intend to hurt children but the judge nixed that request about one month ago. .

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Longtime former Westmount sports director accused of molesting boys

   Johnny Garland was so closely identified with Westmount hockey, that the program he led for 34 years was informally known as "Johnny's League" from 1953 to 1987.
   But sadly, Garland - who died in 2012 - allegedly sexually abused at least two boys who were devastated by the experience and now cope with great difficulty due to profound psychological trauma they were forced to endure.
   Garland, as we have mentioned, was a lifelong bachelor who lived either alone or with his mother at Sherbrooke and Grosvenor.
    I have confirmations of two separate cases of sexual abuse, experiences which devastated the young men and deeply undermined their mental health and well-being.
   One former player observed the culture Garland cultivated among the elite players.
    What I've heard is dark and deeply disturbing,. I've heard these rumours periodically for 20 plus years.
   The most persistent rumours I've heard involve a great athlete; easily the best hockey player in my age group in Westmount. He probably had the talent to go pretty far. He was also known as being one of John Garland's favourites. However, he basically disappeared from the Westmount sports scene when I was about 13 years old. He was in drug rehab at 14 years old.
  I recall a story from when I was playing Atom hockey. In our first game after the Christmas/New Year's break, a few kids on my team talked about having gone to a New Year's Eve party of John Garland's place. I specifically recall that they talked of being served alcohol and getting drunk. These were 10-year-old boys. As far as I could tell, there was no other adult supervision at the party. In and of itself this would prove nothing other than that he may have had poor judgment, but the story has always stuck with me because even as a 10 year old it seemed creepy to me.
   I have since received confirmation that the individual described was indeed sexually molested and have separate confirmation of a similar story with a slightly older victim involved.
    Both victims were from good and caring families who also ended up sharing much of the terrible damage wrought by this awful selfishness.
   Of course with those two stories sprouting from within a five year time-span, one must wonder about the possibilities of others in the other 29 years. Please write me if you have any other information at 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Legal battles of strip club employee-turned substitute teacher

  Maria Stergiou, seen in these pix, is a former Montreal strip club employee who is now a substitute teacher at the EMSB with a unique knack of being at the centre of a lot of things.
   She has become locally noteworthy for her involvement in a couple of high-profile legal cases, one of which was resolved on Feb. 25 when she successfully overturned a refusal for workmen's compensation, as explained in this court judgment.
   On May 18, 2012 Stergiou, now 40, was working at Wanda's on DeMaisonneuve when another employee pushed her head downwards as a playful gesture.
   Stergiou reacted by pushing back and then hit her head and suffered a concussion.
   "Another waitress (L.) pushed my head down for a reason that is unknown, by reflex I pushed my head up, she still had her hand on my head so the impact was severe. This was all unexpected. I felt a lot of pressure on my neck and a crack. The reason I told employer a few days later is because I didn’t feel the symptoms of the whiplash right away and the employer wasn’t there." 
   Stergiou continued working for two months before filing for workers' comp and was eventually turned down but won on appeal and will now get that cash.
   Stergiou was previously involved in an legal epic saga indirectly involving Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre.
   Coderre, when serving as federal immigration minister, was accused by an immigration counsellor named Marie-Claude Montpetit of a variety of misdeeds. She said that Coderre allowed Eastern European sex workers into the country and also permitted 500 Pakistani terrorists into the country as well.
   Monpetit has explained all of the details in a series of easy-to-find blog postings which I won't link to, but they're um, quite intense.
   I've studied Coderre's career closely and don't feel very disturbed by the allegations.
   It's well known that Canada long offered sex performer visas, likely intended to discourage nice Canadian girls from filling those jobs, so the first complaint seems a bit obscure and as for the 500 Pakistani terrorists, well it seems that a decade later no problems have emerged from that.
   Some time after going after Coderre, Montpetit found herself under attack, as Stergiou complained that Montpetit had misrepresented herself as a lawyer when she hired her to help get her boyfriend citizenship.
  Stergiou attempted to sue Montpetit for $378,000 and there were charges against Montpetit as well, but both fizzled out and were unproven.
   Montpetit struck back with a lawsuit against Stergiou and 26 other individuals or institutions, including the local police. (Some links to those cases).
   The ever-determined Montpetit also claimed that Coderre had put Stergiou up to making the complaints.
   I do not know if Stergiou and Coderre have met.
   It's all a very messy business, probably not worth looking up, but I thought I'd do the service of explaining it to you in brief to save you the trouble.
   If you're interested in the Wanda's strip club angle, here's another management-worker saga that involves quite a bit of ugliness as well. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Swizzle stick mania!

Coolopolis would like to congratulate J, a friend of Coolopolis, for sharing this photo of his deeply envied collection of locally-created swizzle sticks, including one from the late lamented Casaloma showbar.
   They are part of his collection of 750 trillion swizzle sticks, which he has travelled the edges of the earth to collect, although there might be some exaggeration on our part about his collection.
   The swizzle stick, according to a disappointingly-brief Wikipedia entry was invented by Brits in the 1700s, well after the urban dictionary equivalent was invented.
   If anybody has a swizzle stick story or collection to share, particularly one with a Montreal collection, we will reward you with undeserved attention.

   Here are four more.. from left to right, the Bellevue Casino, the Grand Hotel, the Chateau Champlain and Ruby Fos. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

When you're on hold.. are they listening in?

A tipster wrote to describe a disturbing experience recently with a customer service attendant at one of the big companies.
   The customer had a complicated situation and wasn't finding the attendant receptive to his questions.
   He eventually asked to speak to the supervisor, which required him to be put on hold.
   The hold option did not come with any recordings or music.
   It was just plain silence as he waited.
   While on hold, the customer had a private conversation with someone in his home, privately expressing his frustration with the attendant.
    When the company attendant finally returned she asked him questions about the private conversation he had in the room, asking why he had spoken about her in a disrespectful manner.
   So in other words, the attendant, while pretending to be away from the call dealing with what had to be dealt with, was actually listening in and snooping in.
   Having worked at such a job for a long time, I can attest to having seen crazy behaviour by such phone attendants.
   The trick of listening in could probably done quite easily simply by manipulating the mute button.
   The mute button is the hidden weapon for the passive-aggressive impulses of such attendants.
    Phone workers press that mute button to secretly grumble about customers with great frequency.    So behind the scenes when you call, (especially if you're an anglo) the attendant is quite possibly really saying "Good morning, how can I help you? (presses mute) ASSHOLE?
   It's a bad habit that I've seen countless times. Alas, contract workers are far less likelier to do it, as they tend to be on their best behaviour knowing that they can be left off the schedule at any time.   
 While that sort of thing is entirely harmless, listening in to a home conversation while pretending to have that person on hold is another thing entirely and seems like a grievous offence.
  So the moral of the story is: if you can't handle the emotional pressures of a customer service job, go get another job.
   And the second moral is, if you think they can't hear you when you're on hold, you might be entirely incorrect.