Urban Sketchers Montreal: Little Burgundy and Griffintown


Yesterday I joined USK:MTL for my first official sketch crawl with them. I didn’t count, but I would say we started as a group of around 20-25 people.  A chilly morning, single digit temperatures, stretched into a chilly afternoon, keeping us guessing as to what weather may strike next. Sun, then dark skies and spits of rain, frigid breezes and moments of serene calm added a unique ‘spring in Montreal’ flavor to the adventure.

First we visited an impressive structure on St. Jacques at Vinet, the Korean Martyrs Mission.


I sketched until I couldn’t sit still anymore, and then some more until even pacing and sketching wasn’t enough to keep me from freezing. I walked to Starbucks down the street to warm up and add a few finishing touches to the sketch. Not long after, the rest of the gang filtered in the door.

Marc Taro Holmes adds color. See the finished sketch on the USK:MTL blog

After thawing out, we walked down Notre Dame Street, ogling at all of the old, gorgeous buildings and found our sketching perches. A few of us just ended up sitting on the sidewalk.

What’s Shari Blaukopf working on? Check out her finished piece here.

I was pretty impressed by how drivers were conscientious of what we were doing and tried not to block our view when they parked. People are lovely.


We stopped for lunch at Le Boucan, where everything on their menu is smoked. I had the mac and cheese. Dang tasty.

Having a look at everyone’s sketches over lunch.

It was so cold, that by this time, our numbers were dwindling. Those of us that remained, ventured up the road north of Notre Dame and stopped at an ancient cathedral in Little Burgundy.  It was in an eerie state, not clear if it was in use or not. Missing finials and statues and some broken glass made us think that, at least, it was not being used as it was originally intended. Beautiful and haunting.


I had a moment, yesterday, when it struck me that I had found my next most favorite thing to do. I had so much fun and, despite the long stretches in the cold, I felt more revived and relaxed than I had in a long time. Hooray for doing what you love!

More about Julie Prescesky

Julie spends much of her time paying attention to what's happening around her. At Design Inkarnation, she's head designer, illustrator, writer and creative problem solver.

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