Tales of Two Cities – Montreal & Toronto

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Bi-weekly; Week 1; Tuesday; 9:30 am – 12 pm

The ALLTO and MCLL (McGill Community for Lifelong Learning) organizations are pleased to announce an innovative joint workshop starting at 9:30 am on alternate Tuesdays next fall. The workshop will be facilitated by Lorne Huston (MCLL) and Andris Rubenis (ALLTO). “Tales of Two Cities – Montreal & Toronto” will involve Zoom participants, in Montreal and Toronto, exploring the comparative histories and cultures of the two cities in the pre- and post-WW1 eras (Fall and Winter terms, respectively). Areas of attention will include the Indigenous Pre-contact Era, the founding of the cities, effects of various wars, bilingualism and multiculturalism, politics, and commercial and cultural evolution. The planned format will involve a presentation by each city, shared and followed in each case by general discussion. The facilitators have assured participants that they will be able to wear Canadiens and Maple Leafs jerseys if they wish.


Andris Rubenis  (andrisrubenis1@gmail.com) was born in a post-WWII refugee camp in Germany of Latvian parents and came to Toronto at the age of 2. He was a family physician, eventually concentrating in long-term care medicine – all in Toronto. Other interests: grandchildren, music, guitar, singing, anthropology, astronomy, archaeology, paleo-anything, history, Latvian heritage, travel, and lifelong learning (just for the sake of it).

Lorne Huston taught sociology and history at Cégep Édouard-Montpetit for 35 years and has been involved with the McGill Community of Lifelong Learning since 2010. He has served on Council since 2016, including a term as president. He is currently chair of the Community Outreach Committee and secretary of Council. Since his retirement he has also been actively engaged in research on the history of the arts sector in English Montreal. His publications have focussed on the period 1900-1950 and have included a book (co-authored with Marie-Thérèse Lefebvre) on George M. Brewer, a leading figure on the music and theatre scene in Montreal during the first half of the 20th century. He has also written articles on the Art Association, and on Samuel-Morgan-Powell, art and drama critic at the Montreal Daily Star (1913-1953).

Workshop Materials: