A once great city reduced to a hodge-podge of language obsessed commissars and lunatics. Yet Montreal remains a remarkable city. There are those innumerable casual moments where Montrealers will from English to French in the middle of sentences without finding it unusual, there is the ironwork staircases, the grandiose modernist architecture, the charm of the cathedrals and the scent not quite of Paris but of a cosmopolitanism unlike anything anywhere. It makes you wistful about how great Canada might have been. Particularly when you realize there is a possibility that Montreal could end up being to Canada what Berlin was to Germany during the Cold War.

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