Its easy to get caught up in the ebb and flow of things. Those random currents that buffet us around the city as though we were twigs in a waterfall. Its easy for me to forget that I’m living in a new city, a new culture and embarking on a new chapter of my life. Things rapidly become mundane and familiar, or so confusing as to pull me out of the moment and forget where I am. Its for these reasons that I’m profoundly thankful for Place Ville Marie. It seems strange to have such potent feelings for a building I’ve never entered, never even been to the base of. Place Ville Marie 1 is only the fourth tallest building in Montreal, but for me its the most important.
I can’t even count the number of times I’ve been driving home from work, walking out of the bar or stepping out my front door and there it is. Cutting a swath through the sky the tower’s four spotlights draw in the night and focus Montreal on one central point. Place Ville Marie becomes the cardinal point from which the rest of the city is drawn, a luminous icon that can be spotted fifty km away. For me its a powerful anchor or grounding point, like the centre of a labyrith. When I see those beams moving through I sky I know where I am, and I feel certain, my feet firmly on the ground.
To draw a metaphor that some of you might understand its much like being on the playa and seeing the Man in the distance. Its the same kind of feeling, of knowing with certitude where you are in relation to something that you know very well. With that you feel you can go anywhere and do anything.
So it may be a tower full of worker bees, but when those bees go home for the night and the beacon lights up, it becomes something much more important and key to the city, and to me.