Les Amis Critical of Proposed REM Train Project

    Les Amis du Parc Meadowbrook recently presented a brief critical of Montreal’s proposed new Réseau électrique métropolitain (REM) electric train network. The four branches of the 67-kilometre network would link Brossard, Trudeau Airport, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue and Deux-Montagnes with downtown Montreal. The $5.5-billion project would be built by the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, through its subsidiary CDPQ Infra.

    Les Amis steering committee member Daniel Boulerice presented the brief on Sept. 27, 2016 during environmental hearings held by the provincial Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE). He predicted that the project will increase urban sprawl and destroy remaining natural spaces, and that it will be an unwise investment of public money in terms of cost, impact and utility.

    The brief, which was presented in English only, is attached here.

    Download (PDF, 408KB)


    The Falaise Saint-Jacques

    The falaise St. Jacques is a steep, wooded area that stretches four kilometres from the Montreal West Interchange to the Decarie Expressway. Its maple, ash and poplar trees provide shelter to numerous species of migrating and nesting birds, and the woods are home to a rare population of brown snakes. Part of the mission of Les Amis du Parc Meadowbrook is to connect Meadowbook park, through a greenway, to a network of parks, including the falaise St-Jacques.

    Since 2015, the Turcot Interchange adjacent to the falaise has become a vast highway reconstruction zone, with work scheduled to continue for several more years. As a result, wetlands at the foot of the escarpment have been filled in, more than 150 trees have been destroyed, and contractors are using the woods to park their equipment.

    The following is a letter signed by representatives of Les Amis du Parc Meadowbrook and Sauvons la Falaise! to Quebec Minister of Transport Laurent Lessard, demanding that the falaise be protected from further damage, and that the trees be replanted and the wetlands restored.


    Monsieur. Laurent Lessard

    Ministre des Transports, de la Mobilité durable et de l’Électrification des transports
    Édifice de la Haute-Ville
    700, boulevard René-Lévesque Est
    29e étage
    Québec (Québec)  G1R 5H1

    Objet : protection de la falaise Saint-Jacques dans le cadre des travaux de l’échangeur Turcot

    Monsieur le ministre,

    Avec les travaux à l’échangeur Turcot, des dommages importants ont été causés depuis 2015 à la falaise Saint Jacques, l’un de dix écoterritoires montréalais.

    Ces travaux ont vu la coupe de grandes sections boisées, le remblai de marais et de zones humides au pied de la falaise, le dépôt de matériaux de construction et de déchets sur les zones boisées au pied de la falaise par divers entrepreneurs travaillant sous la juridiction du ministère, et l’utilisation de zones déboisées pour stationner des véhicules, entreposer des matériaux et réaliser diverses activités reliées à la construction.

    Vous trouverez en annexe des détails sur ces dommages et les zones utilisées par les entrepreneurs.

    La falaise est un écosystème sensible et important à Montréal et abrite de nombreuses espèces d’oiseaux, de petits mammifères et de reptiles, dont une espèce menacée, la couleuvre brune. Les dommages causés à la falaise sont importants et nous craignons fort que d’autres dommages soient à prévoir avec la poursuite des travaux. À long terme, cela nuira à n’en pas douter à la viabilité de cet écosystème.

    Nous demandons donc au ministère de :

    • réparer immédiatement les dommages aux marais au pied de la falaise et d’installer une zone tampon protectrice digne de ce nom afin de prévenir d’autres incidents de remblai des marais ;
    • établir immédiatement une zone tampon au pied de la falaise avec une clôture ou un mur afin d’empêcher l’accès à la falaise par les entrepreneurs travaillant pour le ministère ;
    • replanter les zones déboisées et empêcher les entrepreneurs d’utiliser ces zones à des fins de stationnement, d’entreposage, de bureau de chantier ou autres activités de construction ;
    • protéger la falaise d’autres atteintes ou intrusions de la part des entrepreneurs à l’aide d’une règlementation stricte et de peines sévères advenant d’autres dommages au territoire ou à sa faune.

    Ce genre de protection est monnaie courante sur les projets de construction aux États-Unis et ailleurs au Canada.

    Afin de prévenir d’autres dommages à la falaise, nous demandons au ministère de :

    • utiliser ses pleins pouvoirs pour s’assurer que la falaise soit protégée et publier un rapport sur une base hebdomadaire sur ces mesures de protection et sur toute atteinte à la falaise par les entrepreneurs travaillant pour le compte du ministère, accompagné de rapports des entrepreneurs et des représentants du ministère ;
    • permettre aux groupes environnementaux comme Sauvons la Falaise d’avoir accès à la falaise pour des inspections hebdomadaires des endroits où les travaux de construction s’approchent de la falaise et fournir à ces groupes environnementaux les ressources requises pour ces inspections.

    Le ministère possède l’autorité pour ce faire et peut certes s’appuyer sur les expériences et la règlementation de ses homologues canadiens et américains.

    Il y a lieu de procéder à la réfection de l’échangeur Turcot tout en protégeant la falaise Saint-Jacques. Nous cherchons votre appui en ce sens afin que ce projet devienne un exemple à suivre pour d’autres projets à venir, petits et grands.

    En vous remerciant de votre attention, veuillez agréer, monsieur le ministre, l’expression de nos sentiments distingués.


    Louise Legault, codirectrice

    Les Amis du Parc Meadowbrook



    Lisa Mintz, codirectrice, Les Amis du Parc Meadowbrook

    et présidente, Sauvons la Falaise




    Voici quelques liens sur le sujet:





    Bernice’s Bench


    Family, friends and fellow environmentalists shared stories and warm memories in a tribute to Bernice Goldsmith, Sunday September 25, 2016. Sheltered under a canopy of trees, we dedicated a bench at Toe Blake Park to Bernice. Her son Philip, daughter-in-law Maria and grandson Matthew attended, along with her adopted family of local environmentalists. Montreal West mayor Benny Masella was on hand to share his memories and her son led us in a toast. Thank you to Wendy Dodge and Nigel Dove for organizing this lovely get-together to officially dedicate this bench to Bernice.

    Bernice was a well-loved and well-respected member of Les Amis du Parc Meadwobrook who inspired us with her enthusiasm, positivity and deeply rooted dedication to protecting nature. She was ahead of her time and pioneered the social engineering program at Concordia (http://www.concordia.ca/cunews/main/stories/2014/03/28/tribute-to-bernicegoldsmith.html). She was always active in her community and is remembered for her warmth and friendship as well as her activism. We will always be grateful for her commitment to our green and natural spaces and continue to cherish and honour her memory in our work. 

    Les Amis at Ville St. Pierre


    Louise Chenevert

    Louise Chenevert

    Les Amis du parc Meadowbrook had an enthusiastic presence this year at the annual Fête de la Paix (peace festival) in neighbouring Ville St. Pierre on September 17.

    Muffy Brown, as the squirrel, and Campbell Stuart, dressed as a rabbit rather than the usual Meadowbrook fox, greeted visitors to the table for the first part of the day, and Jo Ann Goldwater and John Symon took over in the afternoon, handing out our brochures and inviting people to sign petitions.

    One petition is to turn Meadowbrook, which has been protected from housing development but still serves as a public golf course, into a nature park. The other petition demands that the Quebec Ministry of Transport protect the St. Jacques Escarpment Eco-territory as construction of a new highway and rail tracks continues nearby. At the next table, Louise Chenevert put out her display of tree leaves, pine cones and photos and talked to visitors about the important role trees play in keeping our neighbourhoods healthy, shady and beautiful.

    Jo Ann Goldwater, Janice Hamilton

    Jo Ann Goldwater, Janice Hamilton

    Campbell Stuart, Muffy Brown

    Campbell Stuart, Muffy Brown


    Nature Walk

    Thank you to David Fletcher and all who joined us for the Brown’s Land nature walk on Sunday September 11. David gave us a wonderful lesson about biodiversity, the useful native species, and habitat at Brown’s Field. He also underlined the importance of natural areas in giving children the opportunity to explore and play in unrestricted areas. If they can do this at a young age, it has a lasting effect on their lives. The event went ahead despite the threat of rain and 30 KMH (18 mph) winds, and our group included Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, Cote St Luc Councillor Dida Berku, and Montreal West Councillor Colleen Feeney.  

    group-nature-walkDavid pointed out invasive species, such as the Buckthorn tree, that crowd out native species and can be seen in large numbers in the area. They could be replaced with trees that are indigenous to the area, such as the Red Osier Dogwood, Eastern Cottonwood and Hawthorn. We learned about uses for some of the plants, such as Hawthorn berry juice and wild grape leaves, and even got to sample a few native Frost Grapes. The area includes tree stumps, and low-lying areas that become seasonal ponds, home to many insects and attracting migratory birds. 

    This small strip of land leads up to the entrance of Meadowbrook and is popular with nearby residents. With a little care, it could be a prime example of how an area could be naturalized in Montreal.


    Walk leader David Fletcher points out the fruit of the buckthorn tree.



    meadbowbrook_newsletter_bannerIt’s been a while since you’ve heard from us. We’ve been hard at work helping out with many environmental issues in Montreal. There are quite a few: Sauvons L’Anse-à-l’Orme, Sauvons la Falaise, the Technoparc, the Dorval golf course and the Réseau électrique métropolitain.

    Upcoming Events

    On September 17, les Amis will be at the Ville Saint-Pierre Fête de la Paix, a fun family event where our animals are always a great hit!
    If you want to lend a hand, please contact Joann Egar at mitchjoa@yahoo.ca

    Remembering a special friend 

    Bernice Goldsmith, a long-time volunteer for Meadowbrook, died in 2014. Les Amis has not forgotten Bernice’s hard work for Meadowbrook and will be dedicating a bench in her name in Toe Blake Park on Sunday, September 18 at 4 pm.
    Please join us to celebrate Bernice’s life and her vital contribution to the future of Meadowbrook.

    We Need You!

    Les Amis is looking to fill a number of positions to keep things rolling smoothly.
    – We need a site manager for the soon-to-be-released eco map, a wiki on green spaces in Montreal that we have been working on with Sierra Club Quebec.
    – Handy with MailChimp? We could use your help from time to time.
    – We also need some help with translation (into French) from time to time.
    – We would like to compile a calendar of environmental events in Montreal if you are so inclined.
    – Here is a fun assignment. Remember the 25th anniversary Rock vs. Disco dance? Our fundraising committee will be hard at work concocting more great events to keep our coffers filled. Would you like to help out?
    If you are up to any of these tasks, please contact us at lesamisdemeadowbrook@gmail.com 

    New initiative for Les Amis

     When Hydro Quebec started cutting trees last May on Meadowbrook, we wondered whether they had the authority to do this. This got us started on a series of what-ifs.
    So we created the Guardians of Meadowbrook, a new initiative that will look into potential threats to Meadowbrook and its distinctive features.
    – What if there is a train derailment?
    – What if more trees are cut? How can we intervene efficiently?
    – Can the Petite Rivière St-Pierre be cleaned up?
    – How about having cross-country skiing on Meadowbrook in winter, as on many golf courses throughout the province?
    If you have special expertise in any of these areas, we want to hear from you. Contact Rebecca Million at rebeccamillion@hotmail.com

    We need your help!

    As you may be aware, we have recently been alerted to the imminent destruction of the Technoparc wetlands in St. Laurent, both by the expansion of the Hubert Reeves Eco-campus and the Caisse de dépôt et placement train project, slated to run between two marshes.

    The area contains three large marshes and a vast prairie bordering Montreal-Trudeau airport and the Dorval golf course. Ornithologist Joël Coutu has observed over 70 species of birds in the area, nesting birds, migratory birds and even endangered species such as the least bittern, the smallest local heron.
    For more information, please visit Joel Coutu’s Facebook page  or connect with Amis/Friends du Technoparc on Facebook.

    The group is looking into obtaining an injunction to prevent further development of this important wetland. If you wish to give financial support to the cause, you may send a cheque in the name of Colby Monet, with “Technoparc Opinion” in the subject line, to:

    Campbell Stuart
    Tour McGill College
    1501, avenue McGill College, bureau 2900
    Montréal (Québec)  H3A 3M8

    E-mail pledges may be sent to Campbell Stuart mentioning that you “undertake to contribute $xxx to the Technoparc Opinion.” CStuart@colby-monet.com

    REM Information Period

    The Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE) information period on the projected Réseau électrique métropolitain (REM) is continuing until September 12. During this time, the public is asked to consult the documentation at one of the consultation stations or online at: www.bape.gouv.qc.ca/sections/mandats/Reseau_electrique_m%C3%A9tropolitain/index.htm
    You can also visit Trainsparence on Facebook for a lively discussion on the subject. Any person interested in submitting a brief to the BAPE should sign up before September 12.

     Our Mission: To protect Meadowbrook from development and transform it into Meadowbrook Park, a new 57-hectare urban nature heritage park, open and accessible to all, and connected through a greenway to a network of parks, including the falaise Saint-Jacques.


    Monthly Meetings. Join us!  

    New members are always welcome. Email us at lesamisdemeadowbrook@gmail.com.
    Consider becoming an active member. Meet great people, learn more about our vision, goals, and how we plan to get there; we all do what we can!​ 

    Copyright © 2016 Les Amis du Parc Meadowbrook, All rights reserved. Mise à jour du 31 aout 2016

    Resolution to preserve the wetlands at Technoparc

    As you may be aware, we have recently been alerted to the imminent destruction of the Technoparc wetlands in St. Laurent, both by the expansion of the Hubert Reeves Eco-campus and the Caisse de dépôt et placement train project, slated to run between two marshes.

    The area contains three large marshes and a vast prairie bordering Montreal-Trudeau airport and the Dorval golf course. Ornithologist Joël Coutu has observed over 70 species of birds in the area, nesting birds, migratory birds and even endangered species such as the least bittern, the smallest local heron. 

    For more information, please visit Joel Coutu’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/falcoornitho/ or Amis/Friends du Technoparc


    Be it resolved that:

    Les Amis du Parc Meadowbrook calls upon the federal and provincial governments, as well as the Borough of Saint Laurent and the City of Montreal, to immediately place a moratorium on the development of the wetlands at the Technoparc Montreal in Saint Laurent as well as the adjacent portion of the wetlands under the jurisdiction of the Aéroports de Montréal (AdM);

    This area has an exceptionally high number of wetland species compared to the rest of the Island of Montreal, among them the protected and endangered Least Bittern, and also has one of the densest concentrations of birds found anywhere on the Island;

    Les Amis also calls upon the various levels of government to declare that all of the undeveloped area on the Technoparc Montreal and adjacent AdM site be converted into a fully protected wildlife refuge immediately, and to scrap the proposal to place a commuter train station adjacent to the wetlands as part of the proposed commuter train for the greater Montreal area; and

    Les Amis also demands a complete moratorium on the development of green space, wilderness, and farm land on the Island of Montreal, with all development concentrated solely on brown fields, parking lots, and low-density commercial and industrial sites, in accordance with the Charter for the Protection of Montreal’s Green Spaces and Natural Environments of the Forum Nature Montréal of April 16th, 2016.

    Les Amis du Parc Meadowbrook


    The resolution has been sent to Ministers McKenna, Dion, Heurtel, Fournier, and mayors DeSousa, Coderre and Ménard. It was also sent to the following environmental groups: APAW, Sauvons L’Anse-à-l’Orme, Sierra Club, Suzuki Foundation, CRE-Montréal.

    It has already been endorsed by the Green Coalition and Sauvons la Falaise!

    photo by Jocelyne Feizo

    Environmental groups present charter to Montreal Agglomeration

    Download (DOCX, 194KB)

    Download (PDF, 42KB)


    Local environmental groups – Montreal Gazette, April 21 2016

    Moratoire sur le développement d’espace verts – Métro, 25 avril 2016

    Did you get fooled by the Informer?

    On April 1st, Montreal West’s Informer ran an article about Meadowbrook being transformed into a luxury golf course. The article went on to state that the new owner, Donald Trump, could not be reached for comment. The April Fool’s Day piece gave us a good chuckle. Kudos to the Informer’s pranksters, for choosing an issue so near and dear to many hearts, and for pulling it off with such style. Get a look at the gag for yourself.

    Four old Meadowbrook trees to be cut down

    Ancient Trees Early Spriing Evening - May 10 2014 ReducedFour large old trees on Meadowbrook are expected to by cut by Hydro Quebec, initially at the request of the golf course manager and Groupe Pacific. Now that the area has been designated as a green or recreational area we need to ensure that it is properly protected and preserved. We also need to focus on retaining the character and history provided by the old trees on the property. Hydro Quebec says the trees are decaying but we do not know whether this has been verified by a certified arborist.

    We are following this situation closely and urge our supporters to do the same. Please check this post for media coverage updates:

    UPDATE: The trees were all cut down April 5, 2016.