133 pages
Contains Photos
ISBN 0-7710-2867-9
DDC 971.4'2804'0222




Reviewed by Hans B. Neumann

Hans B. Neumann is a history lecturer at Scarborough College, University
of Toronto.


Montreal must surely rank as one of North America’s most beautiful
cities. Combining Old World grace and charm in its well-preserved older
sections with measured doses of modern architecture in the downtown
areas just below the hill that ultimately gave the city its name, this
city breathes history, tradition, and culture unlike any other city of
comparable size in North America.

It is evident from the all-color photographs in this pictorial tribute
to his native city that Drummond understands these dimensions of the
city. It is displayed in the portfolio-sized format he has chosen for
this book, a format well-suited to skylines, individual buildings old
and new, scenes of neighborhood ambience, and the expressive features of
the many faces of the people of Montreal. (All are amply represented in
this picture book.) It is displayed in the fine balance among the
various categories of subject matter he has selected for inclusion (each
photograph is identified by a brief caption). It is displayed in the
obvious affection combined with intimate knowledge the photographer has
of Montreal. He knew where to go and what to photograph in order to
provide outsiders with an insider’s pictorial insight to his home
town. In 133 pages of photographs Drummond has achieved just that.

But not all those who may acquire this book possess such an intimate
knowledge of the city. For them, a simple map, at least of the downtown
area and its points de repиre, would not have sullied this book. Et
quel dommage! Given the paucity of text (except for a flowery brief
introduction by Québécois novelist and playwright Michel Tremblay),
this could certainly have been published in both official languages. In
that way the circle of those who could fully enjoy this visual homage to
one of North America’s oldest and most vibrant cities would have been
greatly expanded.


Drummond, Michael., “Montreal,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 19, 2024,