Author Archives: Terence Byrnes

About Terence Byrnes

Terence Byrnes is a writer and photographer who teaches at Concordia University in Montreal. Visit to see his photography.

À Qui la Pointe? or, The Road to Recovery Belongs to Someone Else

My two best friends during this endless-seeming recovery from surgery have been Patricia and my Kindle. The first has a large supply of optimism and encouragement and the second has reading material. Neither, as turns out, has done much for … Continue reading

Posted in Life Otherwise, Photography, Point Housing, Point Places | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments


What I’ve missed! Celebrating the success of BoomJ’s Cuisine, the new Jamaican carryout around the corner. Worrying about the Café Wellington, which has had Kraft paper covering its windows for the last 6 weeks. Kvetching about the lurid, artificially joyous … Continue reading

Posted in Life Otherwise, Point Places, Politics, Trades and Tradesmen | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Packing Heat

This August, The New Yorker published a cartoon of “Canadian Lemmings” gathered at the edge of a cliff, each politely deferring to the others with “After you.” I suppose there are two possible readings. One is that the politeness is a mask; … Continue reading

Posted in Life Otherwise, Politics, Uncategorized, Yard Work | Leave a comment

The Old Point

Way back in the spring of 1975, my father kindly drove me and my then-wife to Montreal to help us look for a place to live. I’d been stranded in a small town in southwestern Ohio and the need for … Continue reading

Posted in Point People, Point Places, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Levelling the Floor: Part I

Drop a marble to the floor of an old house and it’ll probably roll a bit until it gets stuck in a cupped floorboard or a valley where a whole section of floor has sunk. The reasons for this are legion. The … Continue reading

Posted in Construction, Renovation, Tools | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Rail Yard Runaround

Soon after we moved to Point St. Charles, divorce proceedings that had been in the works for years came to an end, leaving us in a precarious financial situation. We didn’t know whether to keep the house and renovate it … Continue reading

Posted in Demolition, Life Otherwise, Renovation | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

How to Demolish a Staircase without Dying

When we first looked at this house two years ago, Patricia immediately saw how much floor area was devoted to a tight little staircase that twisted its way from the second floor down to a postage-stamp size landing and porch … Continue reading

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Summer Salad

A while back, I heard an angry mother on a radio phone-in show declare that there was no way she would allow her kids to be transferred from a defunct English school in a nearby district to one in the … Continue reading

Posted in Demolition, Life Otherwise, Point People | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

People Like Us

Kathy Dobson, the author of With a Closed Fist: Growing Up in Canada’s Toughest Neighbourhood warned me. Sort of. She circumspectly asked how Point St. Charles residents were reacting to me, what with me being a newcomer and all. “Warmly,” I … Continue reading

Posted in Blogging, Point People, Renovation | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Sex, Shelter, Art, Intoxication, and Death

It’s hard to imagine a 120-year-old house that isn’t hoarding a few secrets and surprises behind its walls, under its floors, and above its ceilings. Secretiveness and guilt make people hide things but there’s also the simple fact of loss. A ring slips … Continue reading

Posted in Demolition, Design, Discovery, Renovation | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments