An era has come to an end in Calgary morning radio with Terry DiMonte packing up his boots and ten gallon hat and heading back to Montreal. I’ve been following this story because Terry is taking a terrific gamble that many former Montrealers only dream of taking. Montreal is a fabulous city to call home. So is Calgary. I’ve lived in both over the years. One has mountains in view from town; the other “The Mountain” from which to view the city.
I moved to Montreal from my hometown, Winnipeg, in 1980 and lived there for 12 years, working as a reporter/anchor/entertainment editor at CTV Montreal, which was then known as Pulse News on CFCF TV. Montreal is the kind of city you fall in love with. A cosmopolitan French city with an international flair, and known as one of “the coolest” cities in the world, according to a recent survey, it is an international jewel, where every taste can be satisfied, and the bagels are the best in the world.
There is a constant intensity of emotion in the city that inspires passion, strong debate and a deep appreciation for the better aspects of city life. It’s a party town with a joie de vivre that bubbles out of a heated political reality–two dominant cultures working out their conflicts and accommodations over a colourful 400 year history.
Add to that the ease of getting out of Montreal for Le Weekend “up north” or in the townships, or even skiing in Vermont, and you start to have a sense of the appeal of making Montreal home. It is as easy as it is difficult to be comfortable in Montreal.
This is Quebec. A life of contrasts. Beautiful, cantankerous, heartbreaking and exciting. I’ve talked to a number of people who have returned to Montreal after being away, and the experience was perhaps best summed up by this comment from a business associate:
“In some ways, it is like going back into a volatile love relationship. You fully appreciate the problems but can’t resist the appeal of being intensely alive, so you go back, and hope for the best.”
Here’s wishing Terry DiMonte a great ride in his new start in Montreal.