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SIGNATURE MOMENT
Exploring Mordecai Richler’s Mile End District
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Tasting the famous Montreal bagel
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Walking Irving Layton’s Plateau District
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Getting to know Leonard Cohen’s McGill University

Jewish Montreal: Its Mid-Century Literary Legacy

May 30 - Jun 04, 2021

6 days | Canada | Literary Adventures

READINGS: Selected stories by Mordecai Richler; selected poetry of A.M. Klein, Irving Layton and Leonard Cohen; readings from the Montreal Sephardic tradition.

On this Travel Pursuit, explore the history and acclaimed literary legacy of Montreal’s Jewish community, one of North America’s first Jewish enclaves.

Jews started coming to Quebec in the 18th century but remained few in number until the first half of the 20th century. A new cohort of immigrants caused the Jewish population of Quebec to increase by more than 800 percent between 1901 and 1931. Yiddish became the third most prevalent language in Montreal, after French and English. Quebec’s Jewish population continued to grow, peaking at 120,000 in 1971. Nearly all the province’s Jews were concentrated in Montreal, making the city a centre of creativity. This was especially true for its writers who drew on their European roots while absorbing the polyglot culture in which they were living.

We will read selected works of four towering figures. A.M. Klein (1909–1972), the founding father of Canadian-Jewish literature, combines Jewish and French traditions in his poetry. Klein mentored the outspoken poet Irving Layton, né Israel Pincu Lazarovitch (1912–2006), who in turn influenced his friend Leonard Cohen (1934–2016), who began writing poetry in Montreal before turning to a career in singing and song writing. Mordecai Richler (1931–2001) was a novelist and essayist whose abrasive but comic satire recounts the lives of the Montreal Jews he grew up with.

As we walk the streets, meet the people, hear the stories and eat the food of Jewish Montreal, our experience will be enriched by our discussions of a literary voice unique in North America.
Literary Adventures Cultural Explorations
Tour Cost (per person):
Approx. C$2395 + 15% HST
Group Size:
16 - 18 participants

What’s included: Accommodation in double occupancy, most meals, activities including walking tours, all entrance fees; readings; gratuities; discussions led by Ann Kirkland and fully escorted by her.

"Great conversation with new friends over fabulous food." - Susan W., 2017 'Jewish Montreal' traveller

Itinerary at a Glance

DayActivity
1Arrive in Montreal, welcome dinner
2Jewish poetry in Mild End
3The Jewish Public Library
4The Museum of Jewish Montreal, Mount Royal
5Viewing Richler’s collection at Concordia University
6Depart Montreal
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Your Tour Leader

Ann Kirkland is the founder of Classical Pursuits, which includes Toronto’s famed ‘salon in the sun’ and literary adventures around the world. Her latest brainchild is Most Liveable Cities, trips to people-oriented cities in both the developed and the developing world to get to know why their residents love to call them home.

Email Us

Or call 1-800-387-1483 with any questions or to reserve your spot!

Literary Adventures Cultural Explorations
Tour Cost (per person):
Approx. C$2395 + 15% HST
Group Size:
16 - 18 participants

What’s included: Accommodation in double occupancy, most meals, activities including walking tours, all entrance fees; readings; gratuities; discussions led by Ann Kirkland and fully escorted by her.

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Jewish Montreal: Its Mid-Century Literary Legacy

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