Ottawa and Montreal

Canada - December 24-31, 2016
... our one week winter vacation in Ottawa and Montreal over the Christmas/New Year Holiday Season... Ottawa Chinatown Archway, unveiled in the early Fall of 2010, built upon the entrance to the western section of Chinatown over Somerset Street, west of Bronson Avenue... Carleton University, a comprehensive non-denominational public institution founded in 1942, its campus located west of Old Ottawa South, bounded to the north by the Rideau Canal and Dow's Lake and to the south by the Rideau River... Christmas day lunch buffet at this Hilton Gatineau-Ottawa - Gatineau, located on the northern bank of Ottawa River immediately across from Ottawa, officially Ville de Gatineau, a city in western Quebec; the fourth largest city in the province after Montreal, Quebec City, and Laval... ... waiting to be seated... ... we're hungry, hurry up... ... we're not eating here - the hotel offering drinks/snacks near the lobby for house-guests, someone just came down from their room with bathrobe and slippers on for the freebies... ... interesting twisty decorative lighting... ... restaurant we're having the buffet is downstairs...
... chow time... ... caviar on mini-pancakes... ... a little bit more of shrimp salad, with two pieces of dessert... ... mouth-watering desserts... ... some more... ... the two buddies... ... don't worry, these are not for the two buddies... ... contemporary sculpture, Hilton Gatineau-Ottawa - let's head back to Ottawa, just a short 4 miles driving distance from here... Sparks Street, located one block south of Wellington Street (the home of the Parliament of Canada), a historical street in Uptown Ottawa that was converted into an outdoor pedestrian street in 1967, making it the earliest such street or mall in Canada...
Rideau Canal Locks - Rideau Canal, also known unofficially as the Rideau Waterway, connects the city of Ottawa on the Ottawa River to the city of Kingston on Lake Ontario, some 125 miles in length; the canal, opened in 1832 as a precaution in case of war with the United States, remains in use today primarily for pleasure boating; the locks on the system open for navigation in mid-May and close in mid-October... ... a section of Rideau Canal passing through central Ottawa in winter becomes officially the world's largest and second longest skating rink with clearing length of some 4.8 miles and has the equivalent surface area of 90 Olympic ice hockey rinks; running from Hartwell locks at Carleton University to the locks between Parliament Buildings and Fairmont Château Laurier, including Dow's Lake in between, a popular recreational area and also the focus of the Winterlude festival in Ottawa... ... Confederation Square and Fairmont Château Laurier - Confederation Square, designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1984, an urban square considered the second most important ceremonial center in Canada's capital city, Ottawa (after Parliament Hill)... ... roughly triangular in area, Confederation Square, with Canada's National War Memorial at its center and the Valiants Memorial (a military monument) at its periphery, bounded by Wellington Street to the north and branches of Elgin Street to the east and west - someone put a hat atop the heroic Pierre LeMoyne d'Iberville statue from the French Regime (1534-1763) standing on Valiants Memorial... ... National War Memorial, a tall granite memorial arch with accreted bronze sculptures originally built to commemorate the Canadians who died in the First World War; it was in 1982 rededicated to also include those killed in the Second World War and Korean War, and again in 2014 to add the dead from the Second Boer War and War in Afghanistan, as well as all Canadians killed in all conflicts past and future... ... officially dedicated on 21 May 1939 by King George VI (the then reigning Canadian monarch), the National War Memorial is the site of the national Remembrance Day ceremony since 1940 - in 2000, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was added in front of the memorial and symbolizes the sacrifices made by all Canadians who have died or may yet die for their country... ... the surmounting allegorical statues symbolizing Peace and Liberty... ... 23 bronze figures representing the eleven branches of the Canadian forces engaged in the First World War, viewed from the front... ... the 70ft tall National War Memorial being the focal point of Confederation Square in Ottawa, locating to the south between Parliament Hill to the northwest and the Château Laurier Fairmont hotel to the northeast...
... Fairmont Château Laurier in downtown Ottawa, designed in the French Gothic Châteauesque style to complement the adjacent Parliament buildings; the landmark hotel situated above the Rideau Canal locks and overlooking the Ottawa River... ... a picture of us at Confederation Square (National War Memorial), Fairmont Château Laurier as background... ... oh, me and the hosts... ... another look at the Fairmont Château Laurier, Ottawa... ... Confederation Square - East Block of Canada's Parliament Hill as background... ... Christmas day, the last day of the magical winter lightscapes show, presentation starting from 5:30 pm... ... Center Block, Ottawa Parliament Buildings... ... the East Block, officially the Eastern Departmental Building, built in the Victorian High Gothic style - the East Block along with the Library of Parliament, one of only two buildings on Parliament Hill to have survived mostly intact since original construction since 1859... ... Center Block, also the location of several ceremonial spaces (such as the Hall of Honour, the Memorial Chamber, and Confederation Hall)...
... Center Block, the main building of the Canadian parliamentary complex on Parliament Hill, containing the House of Commons and Senate chambers, as well as the offices of a number of members of parliament, senators, and senior administration for both legislative houses... ... Centennial Flame on Ottawa Parliament Hill - commemorating Canada's 100th anniversary as a Confederation, the Flame was first lit as the climax of the centennial celebrations of January 1, 1967... ... the Flame is fuelled by natural gas and surrounded by a fountain whose ledge contains the shields of 12 of Canada’s provinces and territories - because of the fire that burns above the water, the fountain doesn't freeze, even in the middle of the winter... ... East Block and the ice-snow covered slippery ground - the centerpiece of Ottawa's downtown landscape, Parliament Hill is the political and cultural heart of the city... ... here comes the light show - Center Block, Ottawa Parliament Hill Bank of Montreal (Museum) at St Jacques Street, Old Montreal - founded in 1817, the oldest banking institution in Canada, the imposing facade of its head office dating back to 1847 evoking the power of ancient Rome; the museum said to offer historical exhibits with a teller’s station and mechanical banks... Notre-Dame Basilica, a significant part of the Catholic religious heritage of Montreal, the first Gothic Revival style church to be built in Canada... ... the church is among the most dramatic in the world - its interior is grand and colorful, its ceiling is colored deep blue and decorated with golden stars, and the rest of the sanctuary is a polychrome of blues, azures, reds, purples, silver, and gold;  it is filled with hundreds of intricate wooden carvings and several religious statues... ... during the 1870s the Montreal architect Victor Bourgeau designed the Basilica's high altar, choir stalls and reredos (altarpiece), with statues sculpted in pine by French artist Henri Bouriché - all the decorative woodwork motifs were executed in black walnut, the statues were delivered in 1875; Benjamin-Victor Rousselot (Notre-Dame's parish priest between 1866 and 1882) himself devised the decorative theme for the sanctuary to illustrate the true meaning and significance of the sacrament of the Mass and the Eucharist.
... The Eucharistic Theme - as one of the seven sacraments, also known as the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Eucharist continually renews the sacrifice of Christ. In the Old Testament, a sacrifice could be a supplication to God, a petition for pardon, an expression of praise or an act of thanksgiving. The sculpted figure groups here at the altar contribute to this central and many-sided sacrificial theme. ... The Crucifixion at the centre of the altarpiece - Christ is represented as dying on the cross, the Blessed Virgin and Saint John stand on either side of the cross, while Mary Magdalene kneels at the foot; this “Calvary” stands on a small altar as a witness of the unity that exists between the sacrifice of the Cross and that of the Mass... ... around the Crucifixion scene, four scenes from the Old Testament that prefigure the sacrifice of the Cross and the Mass - the sacrifice of Isaac by his father, Abraham (lower right); the offering of bread and wine made by Melchisidech (lower left); Moses (his brows adorned with two rays of light) is seen establishing the commandments concerning ritual animal sacrifice at the altar, he places an urn full of manna inside the Ark of the Covenant (upper left); on upper right, the high priest Aaron sacrifices a lamb according to tradition. ... the way to heavenly bliss - the visual composition directed upwards toward the vault of the church indicates the way to eternal happiness in heaven, an ascent amid angels and stars against a deep blue background - this ascent, as a symbol of life, is traced in the sacrifice of Christ and in the Mass... ... over the choir stalls on the right and left sides are six polychrome (painted) statues; the three on this picture being St Paul, St Matthieu, St Luc - first is Saint Paul, with a sword of his martyrdom in Rome where he was beheaded; next are two evangelists and their respective symbols: Matthew with a winged male figure, and Luke with his winged ox... ... Saint Mark, Saint John and Saint Peter - Peter (Pierre) with his keys and the rooster, recalling Peter’s betrayal of Jesus, his master and friend on the morning of His suffering and death. Then the other two evangelists: John (Jean), holding a chalice symbolizing his love for the Eucharist, with the eagle, a sign of his far-seeing gospel, and Mark (Marc) with his winged lion... ... the center of the altarpiece, placed directly over the high altar, represents Calvary - the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin in the upper section of the altarpiece; Christ, the Messiah who has conquered death through His resurrection, crowns His mother in heaven... ... statues of the prophets Daniel and Isaiah appear on the left and right sides of the altarpiece - the Tabernacle in the center, flanked by bas-relief sculptures in wood showing angels and saints in adoration, according to the vision described in Chapter 7 of the Apocalypse (Revelation)... ... beneath the altar, the image of the Last Supper (a magnificent wood sculpture based on Leonardo da Vinci’s famous mural) representing the institution of the Eucharist on the eve of Christ’s suffering and death...
... The Pulpit, one of the Basilica's greatest ornaments; in earlier times, the priest would mount the steps to deliver his sermon; from his position above the congregation, his voice could be heard throughout the church, without electronic amplification - as with the altarpiece, the pulpit signifies that the Old Testament of the Bible is the basis of Christian faith... ... the two ground-level figures of the Old Testament prophets Ezekiel and Jeremiah, above on the skirting of the pulpit is a series of smaller statures representing Christ seated and teaching, Saints Peter and Paul, and other religious themes. Beneath the canopy appears the dove, the symbol of the Holy Spirit, leading the faithful to be receptive and obedient to God’s inspiration, and guiding through their life of faith. Completing the pulpit’s symbolism is a statue representing Faith as a young woman holding a cross in one hand and a chalice (the Mass) in the other... ... the great organ that towers over the choir loft of the Basilica was built in 1891 by the firm of Casavant et Frères of Saint-Hyacinthe; since then, the vast instrument has undergone several restorations. To mark its 100th anniversary, additional stops were installed, bringing the total number of pipes to 7000. The largest pipe measures 32 feet and the smallest, a quarter of an inch... ... in 2002 a second trompette en chamade (outward facing trumpet) stop was added, the great Casavant organ today has 92 stops distributed over four keyboards and a pedalboard; the present console dates from 1962... ... the ground floor stained glass windows, recalling the religious and social life of the early Ville-Marie settlement, created and ordered to mark Notre-Dame's centenary celebrations in 1929... ... dedicated to Our Lady the Blessed Virgin - “Notre Dame” - the small original chapel was operated at first by the Jesuits; then came the Sulpician Fathers, who in 1657 undertook construction of a larger church. The Sulpician François Dollier de Casson was its architect, and the present-day Notre-Dame Street served as the original site. Its construction, in Baroque style was completed between 1672 and 1683... ... by 1800, Dollier’s church had become too small, and the Fabrique decided to build the church we know today; the main construction work took place between 1824 and 1829 - Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal... ... the old church set back from the road was demolished in the summer of 1830, except for its bell tower, which survived until 1843, when Notre-Dame Basilica’s twin towers were completed. The western tower, nicknamed La Persévérance (Perseverance) and finished in 1841, houses the great bell christened “Jean-Baptiste” weighing 11 tons. The eastern tower, nicknamed La Tempérance (Temperance), was completed in 1843 and houses a carillon of 10 bells... ... with its dazzling combination of blue and gold, the Basilica is a place like no other in Montreal - once seen, never forgotten...
... interior of the Basilica today - Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal... Notre-Dame Basilica (Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal) in the historic district of Old Montreal, located next to the Saint-Sulpice Seminary and facing the Place d'Armes square... Place d'Armes, a square in Old Montreal quarter of Montreal, Quebec - the Maisonneuve Monument in the center of the square... ... as part of the celebrations for the 250th anniversary of the founding of the city in 1892, this monument in memory of Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve (founder of Montreal) unveiled on July 1, 1895 - Montreal, founded on May 17, 1642; incorporated 1832; constituted on January 1, 2002... ... Place Jacques-Cartier in Old Montreal (Vieux-Montréal), the oldest area in the city of Montreal with a few remains dating back to New France, located in the borough of Ville-Marie, the area also includes the Old Port of Montreal; most of Old Montreal was declared a historic district in 1964 by the Ministère des Affaires culturelles du Québec... ... the 1809 Nelson's Column at Place Jacques-Cartier, neighboring the Montreal City Hall (Hôtel de ville de Montréal) | historical records show that thousands of years ago, a wooded island rich with game located at the junction of the St. Lawrence River and the Outaouais River; Amerindians regularly stopped here, and then returned their canoes to the water to continue eastward to the Atlantic Ocean, or portaged if they were continuing westward, to avoid the rapids blocking the route to the Great Lakes... ... back in those times, Old Montréal was an elongated ridge formed of several shelves running parallel to the St. Lawrence. The ridge, topped by a small hill (now disappeared), was separated from the rest of the island by a creek running along a marshy bed, which joined other streams to form a little river. That little river, as it drained into the St. Lawrence, left a low-lying point of land at its mouth... ... one day in the year 1535, Iroquois from the village of Hochelaga on the wooded island watched as a group of French explorers led by Jacques Cartier came ashore, and Jacques Cartier named the mountain on the island Mont Royal - the likely origin of the name Montréal... New France (1534–1763), the French colonies of continental North America, initially embracing the shores of the St. Lawrence River, Newfoundland, and Acadia (Nova Scotia) but gradually expanding to include much of the Great Lakes region and parts of the trans-Appalachian West...
Independence from the United Kingdom and officially proclaimed Canadian Confederation on July 1, 1867 - Canada is officially bilingual in English and French, reflecting the country’s history as ground once contested by two of Europe’s great powers. The word Canada is derived from the Huron-Iroquois kanata, meaning a village or settlement. In the 16th century, French explorer Jacques Cartier used the name Canada to refer to the area around the settlement that is now Quebec city... ... later, Canada was used as a synonym for New France, which, from 1534 to 1763, included all the French possessions along the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes. After the British conquest of New France, the name Quebec was sometimes used instead of Canada... ... the name Canada was fully restored after 1791, when Britain divided old Quebec into the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada (renamed in 1841 Canada West and Canada East, respectively, and collectively called Canada). In 1867 the British North America Act created a confederation from three colonies (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Canada) called the Dominion of Canada... ... the act also divided the old colony of Canada into the separate provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Dominion status allowed Canada a large measure of self-rule, but matters pertaining to international diplomacy and military alliances were reserved to the British crown. Canada became entirely self-governing within the British Empire in 1931, though full legislative independence was not achieved until 1982, when Canada obtained the right to amend its own constitution. In the heart of the city of Montreal, Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal (Saint Joseph du Mont-Royal), founded by Saint Brother André, a Catholic shrine dedicated to Saint Joseph...  (Brother André, born Alfred Bessette, surely is one of the most popular Québecois of the 20th century. Even before he was canonized in 2010, his reputation for holiness crossed frontiers and influenced generations of people.) Saint-Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal timeline - August 9, 1845 birth of Alfred Bessette in Saint-Grégoire d’Iberville, son of Isaac Bessette and Clothilde Foisy. The very next day, he is baptised in the 'chapel/rectory' of Saint-Grégoire Parish | 1850 the Bessette family moves to Farnham, Québec. Tragically, Isaac dies, crushed under an axed tree, February 20, 1855. His wife Clothilde dies on November 20, 1857 | Alfred becomes a postulant of the Congregation of Holy Cross in Montreal, on December 27, 1870 he enters the novitiate, from then on he is known as Brother André... ... October 19, 1904 Blessing of an oratory (a small chapel) built by Brother André, with the help of Brother Abundius, and a few lay friends | 1908 Successive enlargements of the chapel in August and November | 1909 Construction, next to the chapel, of a wooden building housing a lunchroom, a shop offering religious objects, a waiting room, and a small room that Brother André could use as an office... ... 1910 Chapel’s third expansion | 1912 Chapel’s fourth and final expansion. Inauguration of the first residence for Holy Cross priests and brothers | 1914 The authorities of the Congregation of Holy Cross approve the construction of what would become the future Basilica | 1915 The construction of the crypt church begins | 1917 Inauguration and blessing of the crypt church... ... 1918 Relocation of the small chapel from its original site | August 31, 1924 Blessing of the basilica’s cornerstone before a crowd of approximately 35,000. Brother Andre celebrates the 50th Jubilee of his Final Vows in the Congregation of Holy Cross | 1926 Foundation work begins...
... 1930 Construction of the Basilica’s lower portion | 1931 Temporary shutdown of construction area due to the economic crisis | January 6, 1937 Death of Brother André (born Alfred Bessette, August 9, 1845). For 6 days and nights, over 1 million people move past his open coffin | April 1, 1937 Construction work for the Basilica’s upper portion resumes | August 1, 1941 Blessing of the cross crowning the basilica dome... ... 1946 Construction of the votive chapel and the alcove for Brother André’s tomb. Inauguration and blessing in March of 1950 | 1954 Relocation of Brother Andre’s original chapel to a more elevated site on the mountain. November 21: celebration of the first Solemn Mass in the Basilica | March 19, 1955 Elevation of the Oratory to the rank of Minor Basilica. Unveiling of the monument dedicated to Brother André. Inauguration of the carillon | 1956 Official opening of the Basilica... ... 1960 Official introduction, in Rome, of Brother André’s cause for beatification. November 13: blessing of the Basilica’s Beckerath organ | 1967 Completion of the Basilica’s interior | 1979 Inauguration of the exterior lighting system on the occasion of the Oratory’s 75th anniversary... ... 1982 Beatification of Brother André by Pope John Paul II in Rome | September 11, 1984 Visit of Pope John Paul II | 2000 Celebration of the new millennium. Installation of a new lighting system for the interior of the Basilica... ... 2003 Unveiling of a major renovation plan for the entire property, so that it may be more accessible, more functional, safer and better suited to the needs of visitors and pilgrims | October 17, 2004 Consecration of the Basilica by Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte opening a year-long celebration of the 100th anniversary of Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount-Royal | October 17, 2010 Canonization in Rome of Brother Andre by Pope Benedict XVI. The founder of Saint Joseph’s Oratory is officially recognized as Saint Andre Bessette... ... the basilica of Saint Joseph’s Oratory possesses a magnificent organ that is ranked among the ten most prestigious in the world - the Grand Beckerath Organ fashioned over a period of two years from 1958 to 1959 in Beckerath’s workshops in Germany, and it took seven months to install the instrument in Montreal - on November 13, 1960, the Oratory’s organ was blessed and inaugurated with a recital by the famous French organist, André Marchal... ... this mechanical-action instrument is composed of 5811 pipes, forming 78 stops organized into six divisions; the console has five keyboards and a pedalboard corresponding to the six divisions of the organ, and its imposing façade displays pipes as long as 32 feet - a complete restoration of the organ finished in June 2012 after more than 50 years in use... ... the interior liturgical furnishings... ... Jude - Mathias - Simon
... Jacques Mn - Paul*Pierre - Jean... "The Gospel of Matthew presents Joseph as a righteous man : « This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they were married, she found herself to be with child, through the Holy Spirit. Joseph, being a righteous man, did not wish to disgrace her publicly, resolving instead to break the engagement privately. » (Matthew 1, 18-19)... Joseph’s generosity and greatness are revealed in these few words. But Joseph went further in the gift of self by agreeing to become the real father of this child who was sent to save humanity. He served God’s purpose with dignity and deeply loved this Emmanuel, Jesus, God-with-us." "Saint Joseph can be seen as the saint of everyday life, to whom one turns for help with both minor worries and at life-defining moments. Saint Brother André had boundless trust in Saint Joseph, his friend and guide. His dream was to build on Mount Royal a chapel dedicated to Saint Joseph — an oratory for prayer to him. Crowds soon flocked to the place." "Following Brother André’s recommendation, the great saint is invoked here because, according to him, “He lets no one fall by the wayside.” Traditionally, one confides to the care of Saint Joseph issues related to family, work, health, death and material needs. Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal, founded in 1904, is the largest shrine in the world dedicated to him." ... this reliquary in the church’s museum contains the preserved heart of Brother André, and his tomb sculpted in black marble resting in an alcove in the middle of the Votive Chapel enclosed between the crypt church and the rock of Mount Royal... ... a close-up of the reliquary containing Brother Andre's heart, which he requested to retain as a protection for the Basilica... "Prayer to obtain a special favour through the intercession of Saint Brother André - Saint Brother André, we celebrate your presence among us. Your loving friendship with Jesus, Mary and Joseph makes you another son in the eyes of the Father. Compassion carries your words straight to God's heart, and your prayers are answered with comfort and healing. Through you, from our lips to God's ear, our supplications are heard... We ask to be made a part of God's work in the spirit of prayer, compassion and humility. Saint Brother André, pray for us. Amen" ... observation terrace of Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal, Montreal... [Guardian, Protector, Supporter - Saint Joseph supports believers in many aspects of their lives. He has many designations: Guardian of the Pure in Heart, Hope of the Sick, Consolation of the Afflicted and Patron of the Dying. He is also known as a Model of Workers, Protector of the Church, Support of Families, and Terror of Demons. These multiple designations reveal a saint who is present in our daily lives, in times of suffering, and in the fears and hopes of those who pray.]
Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal (Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal), Montreal ... we had dinner at Hilton Gatineau-Ottawa (again) upon return from Montreal on the 29th... ... prime rib... ... lamb chop... ... seafood platter... ... time for desserts, once again... ... this final picture of more desserts to conclude the photo album of our 2016 winter vacation in Canada - until next time...