A long, long time ago, even before I was born, Montreal was founded.
Founded first by Natives, then Jacques Cartier, and later Samuel de Champlain who also founded Orillia, the gang parked their canoes and ships, joined in a friendly yet cautious way, and went for beer at one of the many outdoor cafes in the area.
One amazing coincidence about this part of Montreal, situated down by the old docks, is that you had the founder named Jacques Cartier and there’s also a street named Jacques Cartier. How weird is that?
The Natives and the explorers broke bread, gave high fives, feasted on a food consisting of chip-like substances with cheese melted over them, sprinkled with tomatoes and jalapenos, and took back to the Old World several of the many selections of Habs merchandise offered in shops along the streets.
Bob Cole has recalled times when he and Sam Champlain drank a lot of pops together, and they would moan about how they wished someone would invent hockey so they could use the Habs merchandise.
Horse and carriage roamed the area, and the explorers would take their wives for romantic rides to make them feel better after a three-month voyage and a lot of lousy fast food joints they’d discovered nearby in Brossard. It also helped them get laid, therefore leading to a huge population explosion which would create many good hockey players in the area.
And often the explorers would get lost as they explored, because with no technology in those early years, they had no way to upgrade their GPSs.
Montreal, or Hochelaga as it was called back then, would eventually expand to what it is today. Really big. Early diaries from Cartier and Champlain suggest that they’d predicted Hochelaga might only be as big as Orillia, which Champlain had discovered when he set foot just down the hill from the arena.
But that’s another story.
You can use this at school next year if you wish.
Below, the ship the first explorers sailed in to reach the New World. It’s been well-preserved, and when the mighty St. Lawrence freezes, they pick it up and store it in the Big O.
Below that, early native musicians entertain settlers with their raw and primitive sweet sounds. It’s amazing that this ancient photo even exists.
Down further, a sampling of what Cartier and others would take back to France after trading pounds of useless gold for the stylish Habs clothing usually preferred by the more macho men of the tribes.