Sunday, June 11, 2006

Plaza Saint Hubert

Here in Montreal, there is a shopping district known as Plaza Saint Hubert.

Located on Saint Hubert street between Jean-Talon and Bellechasse, the Plaza has a bit of a trashy image nowadays, known mostly for it's thrifty bridal boutiques and bargain clothing stores. (In the Plaza's defense, improvements have been made in the last 10 years to revitalize it's image).

The Plaza has not always been the destination of the bargain hunter. Founded in 1954, the merchant's association was created to protect small businesses on Saint Hubert street from surrounding competitors. The Plaza's popularity shot up in the early 60's with the game show Dix sur Dix, which frequently broadcasted from the Plaza, giving away fabulous prizes such as cars, fur coats, and... houses!

In the 1960's, local celebrities promoted and associated themeselves to the then-posh Plaza Saint Hubert. These celebrities included people I never heard of (Jean Duceppe, Suzanne Lapointe, Jean Grimaldi) as well as one I do know: Michèle Richard!

Michèle promoted a boutique called Brigitte. Young and innocent, she apparently wasn't aware at the time she could ask for free clothing by being the boutique's spokesperson. It's a sore spot of her's, to this day...!

In seeing the way Michèle Richard uses her notoriety, nowadays, to deal free stuff, we realize how times have changed...

black and white photos, circa (from top) 1961, 1963, 1966:
color photo, circa 1965:

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