Montreal’s Leonard Cohen comes home

The poet and singer who once said he was 'not interested in posterity' is now woven into the landscape of his hometown.


The news of Leonard Cohen’s death broke on the evening of Nov. 10, 2016. Within minutes, the pilgrimage began. Alone and in couples, walking hand in hand, people gathered at the doorstep of Cohen’s Plateau-Mont-Royal home.

Some lit candles. Others carried bouquets and personal notes and placed them on the doorstep where he used to sit, reading. A local artist cut out the letters of Hallelujah and hung them on a string across his door.

Cohen was a poet and a novelist, a songwriter and singer, aloof yet approachable, a star who remained modest.

He was a Buddhist who stayed true to his Judaism and who was fascinated by the Catholicism that defined the Montreal of his childhood.

He was full of contradictions, much like his city.