‘Montreal is in my DNA’: Meet Joshua Levy, CBC/QWF’s 2018 writer-in-residence

montreal writer

‘Montreal is in my DNA’: Meet Joshua Levy, CBC/QWF’s 2018 writer-in-residence

An ex-Montrealer who has just returned to the fold, Levy is passionate about city’s history

By Loreen Pindera, CBC News Posted: Nov 21, 2017 7:04 PM ET Last Updated: Nov 21, 2017 8:52 PM ET

CBC Montreal is proud to announce writer Joshua Levy will be the 2018 CBC/Quebec Writers’ Federation writer-in-residence.

The poet, writer and storyteller recently moved back to Montreal from Toronto, but he has deep roots on this island.

“Montreal is in my DNA,” said Levy, who grew up in Côte Saint-Luc and is now on a mission to persuade his future wife, who is Scottish, that Montreal is the best city in Canada.

Bagg Street Shul

Joshua Levy’s great-great-grandfather built the Bagg Street Shul on the corner of Clark and Bagg streets, the oldest synagogue still in use in Canada. (Jason Schwartz/Wikimedia)

Levy’s great-great-grandfather, Boris Kaplan, emigrated from Russia as a teenager in the early 1900s, working odd jobs to bring over the rest of his family and founding a construction company in 1915. Kaplan built the oldest synagogue in Canada still in operation today, the Bagg Street Shul.

Levy was raised on tales about that great-great-grandfather, whose Hebrew name of Baruch he bears — including the story of how he had 15 minutes to woo his future bride.

​The streets of Dollard-des-Ormeaux are named after Levy’s relatives: The city on Montreal’s West Island was founded by Levy’s grandfather, David Zunenshine, who, along with his brothers, ran Belcourt, a property development company that began with the construction of a handful of rental apartments in the early 1950s.

All these connections make Levy passionate about Montreal’s rich history.

“I have a special interest in bridging the gap between past, present and future, as well as in connecting the dots between seemingly unrelated people and events,” Levy said in his pitch for the writer-in-residence position.

Association of North Ethnic Journalists and Writers (  ANAJ )  Canada


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