In 1975 I joined my parents, Emmett & Ellena Ward, on a trip to Montreal for the 1975 American Bar Association convention. While I was growing up the major focus for family vacations was visiting relatives. Later most of my parents' vacations were to Bar Association meetings of one kind or another. I was able to tag along to several of these including this one to Montreal.

My mother's brother, Lewis Cutrer, and his wife Catherine were also in Montreal. I remember one dinner where he and my mother signed up for the buffet, which included whole lobster. They got their money's worth. Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of that achievement!


As part of the Montreal 1967 Expo, this dome was created for the US pavilion by Buckminster Fuller.

At the time we visited, the sphere was called the Biosphere and was used as a public attraction.

Not long after we visited a fire destroyed the acrylic skin, but it was later restored and currently houses a museum focusing on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River ecosystem.

Biosphere skin

The structure of the sphere is such that it supports itself. The transparent skin is acrylic as noted above.

This view is from the inside looking out.

Place de Nations This overview of the Expo grounds shows some of the varied buildings. The Biosphere dome is recognizable, but I can no longer remember the hexagonal buildings.
Columns This close-up of the exterior of the Iranian pavillion shows the intricate tile work. I was fascinated by these columns. 1967 was a time when Iran was more engaged with the western world.
Inuit hunters While in Canada we all became fascinated with the soapstone carvings sold as Eskimo art.

In recent years there has been some controversy over the use of the term "Eskimo" with some claiming it to be offensive.

Maybe. But everyone can agree that the art is lovely. We bought several carvings that I still enjoy today. None so intricate as this one, however.

St Laurence village While in Montreal we enjoyed a cruise along the St. Lawrence River. We passed many charming villages. I am unable to remember any of the names, however.
Emmett & Ellena Ward As part of the cruise we stopped for lunch at this lovely auberge. I don't specifically remember the meal, but I do recall what a delightful stop it was.

After lunch we had some time to relax in the lovely garden.

Cathedral In addition to the St. Lawrence cruise we took a tour of Montreal city. At the time my old camera, which lacked a wide-angle lens, made it difficult to get good city photos. I was able to capture this picture of the interior of the Basilica of Notre Dame.

The church is on the Place d'Armes in the old section of Montreal.

L'Auberge St. Gabriel One meal was at this inn, which was said to be the oldest inn in North America - established originally prior to 1754. It was given Quebec's first liquor license at that time.

At the time that we visited, as I recall, they had a medieval dining experience that entailed lots of food eaten with fingers or knives without such modern inventions as forks.

Apparently that style has been discarded and it is now a distinguished French restaurant.

Another memorable meal was at Le Caveau, where Jim and I ate some years later.

Piper One afternoon we visited an old fort where we were treated to a military drill or tatoo in full Scottish regalia.

My very terse notes from the time don't specify the location of this event, but I believe it was the Old Fort on Île-Ste-Hélène.

Promenade We also got to visit Quebec city.

The iconic image of the city is the Le Chateau Frontenac, which is a luxury hotel. Someday I would love to stay there.

My main memory of Quebec is showing off to our guide, who was mighty cute, that I knew the names of all the Canadian provinces. He said I was the first American he had met who could do that. At least there aren't 50 of them.

Chateau The above picture doesn't give any indication of the steep bluff that the city surmounts. We walked down along the river - looking up to the Chateau is enough to give a mountain goat vertigo.

Toronto - 1980

I returned to Montreal in 1976 for a SHARE computer conference. Jim joined me and we had a great time. We revisited Le Caveau, mentioned above, with friends. One of our best funny stories originated in that meal. I apparently didn't take my camera because I have no pictures.

In 1980 I traveled to Toronto for another computer conference this time for users of the System 2000 database system. I can no longer remember the name of the Austin, TX, company that developed the software, but it is now marketed by SAS.

One day my friend Randi and I took a sight-seeing tour of the city. The only pictures that I've retained from that day are of Casa Loma in the city. It was a fascinating place and very photogenic.

There was much else that was interesting about Toronto - the CN Tower, Chinatown and the lake front, but alas no pictures.

Tower Overview Wall