City Beautiful by John Faithful Hamer

In 2014, we might describe Montreal as a city
where you can’t throw a brick
without hitting something beautiful.

Seriously, you can’t even walk to the pharmacy
on a warm June night
to pick up some garbage bags
without being left speechless again and again and again.

Oh, and let me be clear: the beauty of which I speak
—the beauty of this great city—
is not the natural and thus accidental beauty
of BC or Banff. All to the contrary,
Montreal is beautiful because it wants to be.

Something wonderful is happening in this city
—despite corruption scandals
that would make a Latin American dictator blush

—despite crumbling municipal infrastructure
that’s made much of downtown look like the perfect place
to shoot a post-apocalyptic disaster movie

—despite a federal government hell-bent on destroying
everything we love about Canada,
and a provincial government hell-bent on destroying
everything we love about Quebec.

Despite all of these things,
and against all odds,
there’s a buzz of creativity here
unlike anything I’ve seen before

in my lifetime.

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