Montreal

I spent the first half of this week in Montreal. I visited a customer in Longueuil on Monday and then attended YPO-WPO meetings on Tuesday through Thursday. I stayed close to the Old Port, which was very cool. I hadn’t been to Montreal in more than 10 years. I visited in the 1990’s when I raced road bikes in the Adirondack Mountains of Northern New York. Along with teammates, I made several excursions to this cool Canadian city, but that was years ago. I’ve spent a lot of time in Canada, but not here, so it was nice to return to Montreal.

I thought about driving up for this trip, but it worked out better to take Air Canada. I flew on an 18-seat Hawker Beechcraft direct from Hartford, which was fun but a bit tiring. Fortunately, it was a short flight. I actually enjoy small planes, but the drone of the PT6A-67D engines and Hartzell propellers was only interesting for a short time. It soon became tiring. During the flight, I looked out at the engines and wondered how many Horst Engineering parts might be on them. My father always used to joke with me about aircraft and how most of the components were manufactured by the low bidder. Thinking about that always amuses me.

Montreal is a very nice city to run in. I was wishing that I had one of my bicycles. I could have easily rented one of the many city bikes that were positioned throughout the downtown, but I never had the time. I ended up running three of the four days that I was up there. I enjoy exploring the cities I visit and you can see so much when you go for a run or bike ride. Twice, I ran to Parc du Mont-Royal, which is a true gem. It was designed by landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmstead.  I’ve had the pleasure to run in so many of his great parks. I ran to the top of the 761 foot hill both times. McGill University is situated in a great location at the bottom of the hill. If I was a student there, I would really enjoy the trails.

The view of the city was very nice. On the first day, I went up in the afternoon and got caught in a huge downpour. When I returned on Wednesday morning, I was there in time to see a fantastic sunrise. On Tuesday, I ran along the Lachine Canal, which is a Canadian National Historic Site. The bike/walking path along the canal was a nice flat place for an easy run. I saw many people enjoying both Mont-Royal and the canal, which illustrates that many Montrealers enjoy outdoor activity.

I got to see many of my YPO-WPO friends at the meetings, and I had the awesome pleasure to meet Philippe and Nan-B de Gaspé Beaubien. The couple of 56-years, are family business legends. They are founders of the de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation, and the Business Families Foundation. BFF’s mission is “Empowering entrepreneurial families and those who advise them to address and resolve their issues and, in so doing, help them grow, develop and endure as the economic backbone and social fabric of their communities.” I think that is a pretty good mission and was thrilled to learn that their passion for family business education was founded through a YPO experience. I am also a founder, but of the YPO-WPO Family Business Network. I still enjoy my role on the executive committee, so it is always interesting to connect with other folks who have a family business focus. Philippe and Nan-B were inspiring speakers and I look forward to learning more about them.

In addition to the three runs, I got a chance to walk to and from meetings in the Old Port. There are some fabulous old buildings in this historic section of the city, including the Notre-Dame Basilica. I went out on one of the piers and had a good view of Habitat ’67. It is along the Saint Lawrence River and was built as part of Expo ’67.

I was disappointed that Debbie couldn’t join me on this trip, but that gives me a good reason to return. I had so many meetings, that I didn’t get to see much. It was a quick trip, so we need to return to explore this historic and beautiful place in more depth.

 

 

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