The theme for this special edition of The Suburban is “Buy Local,” which got me thinking from a nostalgic point of view about which landmark businesses, media outlets, political entities and other institutions continue to flourish and from that perspective what do we really miss? I think my 56 years on this earth, all in Greater Montreal, provides me with some good background to figure that out
Buy Local: The Bay, or as we call it in La Belle Province La Baie, remains our number one department store. High marks for the locales downtown, at Fairview Pointe Claire and Carrefour Laval.
We Miss: Eaton’s, or as they called it in Quebec before it left us – Eaton.
Buy Local: Provigo, through its larger stores which originally came here under the Loblaw’s banner, this brand offers the closest grocery experience to the United States. But let’s face it, they do not hold a candle to Price Chopper et al in the USA.
We Miss: Steinberg’s, or as it was known it Quebec – Steinberg.
Eat Local: Reuben’s Deli & Steakhouse has served Montrealers on Ste. Catherine Street since 1976.
We Miss: Le Biftheque on Cote de Liesse.
Compute Local: The Apple Store, a spot full of genius employees who always seem to have an answer to our iPhone, iPad and Mac dilemmas.
We Miss: Admaco on Decarie, where before computers you could buy the best typewriters on the market. I still remember the name of the manager: Karl Zechmeister.
Watch Local: Mutsumi Takahashi has been a CTV News anchor for more than 30 years and the lady does not age.
We Miss: Don McGowan, the witty weather forecast and co-host of such great shows (which we also miss) such as Travel Travel and McGowan’s Montreal.
Dine Local: Orange Julep remains an institution on Decarie.
We Miss: Serre Picasso, open 24/7 on St. Jacques in NDG but soon to be partially revived as Le Manoire in the same spot.
Have Fun Local: La Ronde has been around as this city’s premier amusement park since 1967.
We Miss: Belmont Park in Cartierville, steps away from Chomedey.
Sports Local: The Canadiens remain our most storied sports franchise, despite not having won a Stanley Cup in 25 years.
We Miss: The Expos, but with the likes of super fan Perry Gee of Chomedey and a potential ownership group in place they could be back.
View Local: Cinemas Guzzo remains a growing independent movie theatre chain. Bravo to Vince Guzzo for making it so successful.
We Miss: Ciné-Parc Dollard, a good old-fashioned drive-in theatre.
Read Local: The Montreal Gazette continues to deliver the news despite a scaled down editorial department while of course our very own Suburban publishes three weekly regional edition and includes breaking news 24/7 online at thesuburban.com. Bravo Beryl Wajsman, Oliver Sutton, Amanda Lavigne, Anthony Bonaparte et al.
We Miss: The Montreal Star, for which I was a delivery boy and The Sunday Express, for which I served as a reporter.