From 1989 to 1991 I lived and worked at 9 Villeneuve O. in Montreal, on the corner of St. Laurent. I shared the flat with Linda Kostiuk a youth care worker in the Westmount social welfare system. We lived on the third floor and had a balcon on Villeneuve O, which had a view from the Mountain down to the Stade Olympic. It was a great flat, very cheep, owned by the proprietors of Les Tissue Joy on the ground floor on St Laurent. I recall one day Linda and I went down to the shop to renew our rent with the owner, a wonderful old orthodox Jewish lady, who’s name I forget. Linda and I attended her at the appointed time and I can see her two sons, both middle aged guys hanging around the stacks of fabric listening to our meeting. Madame began the conference with a long preamble with how tough times were and how sorry she was to have to raise our rent. Then she dropped the bomb. Said she’d have to raise our rent 10 dollars a month. She studied Linda and I for a reaction. Her sons winked and smiled at us. Linda put on a good show for the old lady. “Not ten dollars, how could you ask for so much?” “I’m sorry Linda,” she said, “ but it’s ten dollars.” She smiled confidently in her beautiful bouffant orthodox wig as Linda and I sign the lease.
It was a great time to live in Montreal. Everyone was broke and scrambling- as I suppose it always is in Montreal- but I will write more on that in the future, or in the past, as the sequence of a blog goes. But to get to the point of this entry, 9 Villeneuve and Les Tissue Joy burned down in 2002. Here are some pictures of that location. I don’t have an image of the building as it was in 1989, but if one comes to me I will post it.