We arrived in Montreal, my parents and I, on a clear, icy evening in January 1957. Our first glimpse of the city on leaving Central Station was of Mary Queen of the World Cathedral, the domed baroque edifice etched firm against the night, its floodlit row of statues gazing across the distance toward the great cross on Mount Royal. This is still my favourite view of the city: as gorgeous as a Fellini composition and one of the few aspects of downtown that has not changed. But on that night thirty-five years ago, none of us was terribly impressed. My parents, harried by the long journey and by the problems they knew were just ahead, were in no condition for aesthetic contemplation. As for me, I was thirteen and blasé. Far from feeling like an exhausted refugee, I had come to think of myself as some kind of professional tourist, an intrepid adventurer with no fixed address and in no great rush to acquire one.
So begins our Fall 1992 cover story. To keep reading, and see related images by Geoffrey James, view a PDF of the entire article.