Thursday, April 10, 2014

Montreal Staircases !

Good morning everyone !

I thought you all deserved a break from my crappy reno's - how about a visit to Montreal?
We haven't done it in a little white now -

Come - let's check out something Montreal is quite famous for
Our staircases !

Every time you see a tour bus go by in the city you see people frantically snapping photos of them lol - so even though they are second nature to me ( after 55 years ) I decided to look at them through a " tourist's " eyes.................

I used to run up and down some of them with roller skates on as a little girl - can you imagine?
My girlfriend and I went to a party once and may or may not have had a little too much wine - and it was in one of these " flats " - I was TERRIFIED to go down the stairs - absolutely terrified.

Here we go...............btw - these are exlusive to CITY neighborhoods - you won't see any of these in the suburbs..............
Ranked in the top 5 " recognizable " Montreal features................

The South may have duelling banjoes - we have duelling staircases !


It's pretty strange that this would have been a building feature in a city where the winter's can be brutal with snow and ice..................

Hence most of them are wrought iron - with open risers - allowing for easier snow removal

There are several theories on their beginnings in our city..................

Apparently they were first created by British builders newly arrived from Europe and bringing inspiration from Edinburgh and New Castle.................( although I've also heard that the Iron on the stair cases and balconies were influenced by the Irish - of which we had a huge population )

To help adapt to the rapid growth of the city - causing a density in population - multi storey flats were built - hence the staircases...............

Building the stair cases on the outside of the building allowed for more space on the inside for living
Again several theories exist -
Another one being that the Clergy reinforced the use of them to deter adultery - LMHO - because you would be SEEN slinking into someone's else's home !!!

Some are straight

and some are beautifully curved

We had one like this in our back garden 2 houses ago - flowers and all - wish I'd been blogging then lol

Some are colorful

Some have a wonderful Patina

Some lead up from Stores....................

and some grace where we shop and eat

We love them so much we even have stairs leading up to Mount Royal Park ( Montreal's version of Central Park - in fact designed by the same man - Frederick Law Olmsted - ours rests on top of the mountain in the middle of the city - MONTREAL - derives from MOUNT ROYAL -  )

So we can gaze at the city below while reading a book or having a picnic

although my favorite is the view at twilight

(Hmmm - maybe my next Montreal post will be on our Mountain Park :)

And then of course there are perhaps Montreal's most famous stairs

The ones that lead up to St. Joseph's Oratory - all 283 of them.......................

( if you love Churches - I have a post on Montreal Churches - which we are also renowned for HERE )

What makes your city/town unique?  I'd love to know !

Ok - I'm going downstairs now to do some more painting - wasn't this a nice distraction from all my reno's, lol ?

All of the above photos can be found on my Montreal Pinterest page HERE

( Most of us that have lived in this city's neighborhoods have a horror story ( or 2 or 3 ) of moving days.
Montreal movers should have medals - without a doubt !!! )

Have a great weekend
Much love,

I'll be partying here!

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  1. I have to visit Montreal someday, it looks stunning. I doubt we could live there though, as one of our dogs just cannot get up or down stairs!


  2. Oh I remember a pulley system we had off a back balcony when we moved since the stairs were too curved for us to move big pieces. Crazy times but fun memories. Of course those were my student days and we moved two times in 3 years.

  3. Wonderful post on our City!!! Don't you feel like a veil has been lifted from our gorgeous city? No pun intended lol!!!

  4. Just had to say "love". Thanks for sharing. Can I use on of these to print and post on my walls?
    Pam from Kokomo

    1. Thanks Pam - they're all from Pinterest - GO FOR IT !!!

  5. It is such a beautiful city in many ways. Thanks for gathering all those photos together, lovely eye candy.

  6. Beautiful. Have you lived in Montreal all your 55 years?
    Have you done a post on good eats in Montreal? I would love to know a couple of the places or a food that your City is famous for.

  7. Those are stunning photographs. Focusing on staircases is a brilliant idea.

    1. Thanks Rick - it's a pretty spectacular city - ( in my not so humble opinion lol )

  8. I love this post. Thank you. I didn't know about Montreal's staircases. Montreal has long been on my list of Places to Visit. Beautiful!

    So, hello from Moose Jaw! What's unique about Moose Jaw? Other than the name? haha. Well, it has a notorious past :) Al Capone's northern hideout during prohibition. And the town thought IT would be the provincial capital (instead of fall old Regina), so it's full of huge old churches, buildings and houses. We're a tourist-y little place :)

    1. Thanks for sharing that Felechia !!! Love hearing things like this!
      Moosejaw - another fun fact - One of Garth Brook's daughter was named after a place where she had been conceived - he mentioned in an interview once that he was grateful it hadn't happened in Moose Jaw LMHO
      Happy Weekend !
      Hugs ( from Montreal - all the way to Moose Jaw )

  9. Absolutely gorgeous post.

    I actually asked Steve to look at this post and we began talking about a visit to Montreal.

  10. I really enjoyed this post and seeing all the different types of stairs that Montreal is famous for. They really are beautiful. I can think of a few things that our city of Fredericton is known for. One thing is that there are 2 universities (UNB and STU) and a community college (NBCC) that basically share a campus, and we are the capital of NB so we have the beautiful Legislature Building with a dome on top. The St. John River runs through the city dividing it into north and south. We have 2 one way streets downtown (Queen and Brunswick) and the main street is called Queen St. There is a Main St. on the north side (of the river) in what was once Nashwaaksis before it was amalgamated to Fredericton. The river usually floods in the spring and has flooded the downtown on numerous occasions. Not nice. It's a very beautiful, historic city. Come see us! :)

  11. How beautiful! I miss it.

    I second the suggestion on the food in Montreal. Even our fast food is delish!

  12. Beautiful! I am so happy that 'people' throughout the years did not feel compelled to 'modernize' those stairways, or any part of those buildings for that matter.
    Olmsted did the center park section at the Chicago's World's Fair in 1893 also. I wish I had 1/16 of his vision.

  13. Wow...I had no idea about the relationship bet Montreal and the staircases. I went to France for the doors and thanks to you, Montreal is now on my list of places to visit. What a beautiful characteristic of a city that I'm sure I will love! Happy weekend...oxoxo

  14. Great post! I love these staircases; they are so interesting, and they add character to the city. Next time I'm in Montreal for a visit, I'll have to make it a point of photographing some.

    GAWD...did I ever laugh with the Clergy theory of these staircases being used to deter adultery. Bahahaha... That is just hilarious!

  15. I was thinking the same thing about the snow and ice. They are pretty to look at though. Some stairs can really make a look (and some can break it).

    We almost bought a home w/a spiral staircase in the middle. I'm glad we didn't now, but at the time I thought it was charming. :)

  16. Thank you Suzan for this beautiful post. I hope that it pleased you as much as it did me. I am living in Phoenix, Arizona now. U.S. We are located in the Sonoran Desert which is one of the wettest and greenest deserts in North America. We average 7.7 inches of precip per year and 85%of our daylight hours are sunny. Now the really good part - the average winter temp is 67 degreesF. Bad part it got to 110 F. several days last year. Ick!

  17. I so enjoyed this post Suzan. Especially considering Mr. Frugalista has business trip planned in July to Montreal and I'm hiding in his suitcase. Here I am a old one at that, and I've never been to Montreal. I can't wait - especially after seeing these pics! Thanks Suzan :)
    Marie @ The Interior Frugalista

  18. Oh I LOVE all those photos, Suzan. I had no idea you were famous for staircases. They are just gorgeous. I have always loved metal staircases and wrought iron work in general. Beautiful.
    Our city is famous for Lambeau Field, deep fried mozzarella sticks, the Green Bay Packers and the Football Hall Of Fame...oh and cheeseheads! lol xo Diana

  19. I really enjoyed that post. I only stayed a few hours in Montreal when I visited and that was much too short. My favourite story is that of the stairs created to avoid adultery. Too funny what Church can think of!

  20. What a fantastic post and such a beautiful city. I live in the country so probably the most unique thing about this place is in the fall when they spread manure! Then you truly want snow and staircases!

  21. What a beautifully historic town, Suzan! Just amazing! :)

    xoxo laurie

  22. I am so glad I looked at this, what gorgeous photos! I have been to Montreal once a very long time ago, and it was a "flying trip", now I want to go back and have a leisurely look - thank you so much!

  23. Moving day...and grocery day! Both would be nightmares for me with that many stairs to climb. But they are gorgeous, especially the curved staircases. The first few pictures of the stairs covered in snow really scared me...especially after slipping on ice in our own backyard this winter (sprained wrist, wrenched elbow & injured shoulder...can you imagine falling on those stairs? Oh right, you did think about it after a party lol) Still, how beautiful!
    Debbie :)

  24. How beautiful! Nice distraction Suzan, but I still want to see more reno's :)

  25. This made my night - I love stairs and these are so special! You know I'm a country girl when I say our town is known for its trees! And you are not allowed to have more than three stories.

  26. Dear Suzan,

    I am a professional photographer. I have found that you are using one of my images, the 3rd one of Montreal stairs. If you would like to use my image please credit me and link to my flickr.

    Kind regards


    1. Hi Ashley - sorry about that - I think I found it on pinterest !!!
      I've properly linked the photo to your flicker page - and included your name...........
      Many thanks for contacting me to let me know ( do you live in Montreal too? )


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