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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered



  1. You say kitsch.

    I say patriotism.
    It’s something more of your generation have forgotten than mine could ever remember

  2. Nice to see one (but only one) posting about Montreal on SpacingMontreal, this week even if it is only a photo quickie. Maybe next week Spacing Montreal can post two things about Montreal. I know, it’s an unrealistic dream, but dare to dream people, dare to dream!

  3. @ Christopher : LOL

    @ Paul : Spacing is volunteer run and all of us have day jobs, so sometimes we get busy with other obligations. If you want to become our rich uncle so that we can do this full-time, that would be wonderful! Alternatively we are always accepting new contributors….

  4. It’s kind of hard for me to write this because I have no appreciation for the British empire or anything it stands for. But I wonder if it’s fair to say something is of bad taste just because it honours an idea we disagree with, or an institution we dislike. Sounds like bullying to me.

  5. I don’t think it’s in bad taste per se, it’s just something very much from a different era. Anecdotally I doubt may anglos these days even identify with the monarchy, not to mention the fact that the large majority of francos are probably outright hostile towards it. It’s kind of jarring that this kind of rhetoric and imagery, so radically out of sync with the official civic discourse of the era, is so prominent in such an important public space but its an interesting reminder of where we’ve come from. And, in my view, of the progress that we’ve made.

  6. Devin:
    It’s an interesting image to post, seeing as Queen Elizabeth just marked 60 years on the throne yesterday (or was it the day before), a reign greater than Queen Victoria. As you say, we’d never erect a monument to such an “achievement” today, so it serves as a striking contrast. We’d also never have a monument to a living monarch either, but that’s another matter…

  7. I’d vote to put some prominent ironic air quotes around such plaques. (Or Banksy-ize them with a pair of rolling eyes next to them.) Preserve the historical aspect while reflecting the majority of modern folks’ attitudes towards them. ;-) 

  8. I don’t find the British empire meaningful and would rather do away with the monarchy, but calling this stuff “kitsch” when it was historically meaningful is a bad choice of words. I’m from Toronto, and while I don’t care for empire, I love monuments like the Princes’ Gates, which were clearly designed and built with a high standard for design and craftsmanship.

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