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 NationsThis 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.

ColumnsThis 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 huntersWhile 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 villageWhile in Montreal we enjoyed a cruise along the St. Lawrence River. We passed many charming villages.

Emmett & Ellena WardAs part of the cruise we stopped for lunch at this lovely auberge.

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

CathedralIn 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. GabrielOne 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, they had a medieval dining experience that entailed lots of food eaten with fingers or knives without such modern inventions as forks.

It is now a distinguished French restaurant where meals are consumed with more decorum.

Another memorable meal was at Le Caveau, where Jim and I ate some years later. It has (deservedly) closed.

PiperOne 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.

PromenadeWe 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.

Later Visits to Toronto & Montreal

In 1976 I traveled to Toronto for a computer conference for users of the System 2000 database system. This was a flashpoint in my ongoing struggle as a woman in a heavily technological position. I only got approval for this international trip because I had written a paper that had been approved for presentation and publication. It described a new interactive interface to the product that I had developed on my own initiative. After I returned, I was informed by my boss that I would no longer be assigned to the System 2000 project. He was transferring it to one of my (male) colleagues. I guess I was getting too uppity. Upon hearing that news I got pretty explosive and my colleague decided that maybe he didn't really want the assignment after all.

I returned to Montreal once again, I forget the year, 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. It's too complicated to repeat here. Ask us.