Ville de Montréal on 27 April 1967 by Raymond Biesinger in Montréal, Québec, Canada

This is Montreal drawn as it looked the day the city debuted itself to the world at the Expo ’67 fair. Within the drawing you can find more than 50 specific buildings from that day. They are laid out in a way best described as “plastic” and maybe “cubist.” The two islands at the bottom, Ile Notre Dame and Ile Sainte Hélène, are the Expo grounds themselves. The northwest border terminates right before the city’s eponymous mountain, and the northeast ends right before Parc Lafontaine. And while I do suggest you plan a trip here, you certainly wouldn’t want to plan a trip with this drawing.

Name:Raymond Biesinger



Deadlines, the bébé, the lady, history and making music.

Tell us about Montreal:

Montreal author Yann Martel once described the city as “a cigar-smoking chimp.” Sure, that touches on the excess and fun we have here, but it doesn’t mention all the other layers of the city’s beauty. Also of note: the rent stays low-ish despite it being an enormous city, the politics of language grate in a way that only Parc Lafontaine open-air drinks can repair, and long winters force mental vacations.

A perfect day?

Finding a way to sleep all day. Having a new kid and a busy studio doesn’t really let that happen.

What is the best thing about Montreal?

Being an artist is considered a legitimate career choice here, and the economics of the place actually allow it to happen.

What is the worst?

Almost everyone I’ve known who moved to Montreal has experienced a serious crisis in their first 12 months here. Not sure why, but it happens like clockwork.

What would be surprising about Montreal to an outsider?

Tiny city-run snowplows clear every sidewalk every time it snows. Seriously.

If Montreal was a person or character who would it be?


Who are three of your favorite artists?

Ian Svenonius, Anne Applebaum, the Kinks.


Name:Raymond Biesinger


Favorite place to eat:

Bagel, Etc.

Favorite place to drink:


Favorite shop:


Local Tip:

Be nice. It might not seem like it, but everyone here is probably trying their best.

Must Do:

Drinks in Parc Lafontaine in the sun with blanket, friends, and chips.