Archive for the ‘Nature park’ Category


And with spring comes the return of birdsong, especially with fewer automobiles on the road since COVID-19.

The environmental group Nature Québec has just launched a new campaign entitled Pas de printemps sans ailes in an effort to help the swallows that will be returning to Quebec to nest.

It couldn’t come at a more important time as swallows have seen their numbers dwindle since the 1970s, with certain species decreasing by up to 80%. Many factors explain this phenomenon, notably the disappearance of their habitat and the decline in insects. The barn swallow, for example, likes to nest in old wooden farm buildings, but an increase in steel buildings has left it without a home.  It is the same situation for the bank swallow, which lives in colonies in sand banks. By rock filling and damming river and lake banks, their territory is much more limited.

None of the species that nest in Québec are protected by the Loi sur les espèces menacées ou vulnérables. These unprotected species include the bank swallow, the tree swallow, the cliff swallow, the barn swallow, the purple martin and the North rough-winged swallow.

Nature Québec has created a series of information sheets that describe four of these species and discuss measures to help them in their plight (protecting the nests, limiting the use of herbicides and pesticides and walking your dog on a leash in order not to disturb the fledglings). They have also developed plans to make bird boxes for the tree swallow, a perfect project for these days of isolation.

For more info on the birds of Meadowbrook, click here.

Lost Rivers part 2

Not long ago, we looked into the practice of daylighting long-gone rivers across the world ( Similar projects are now taking shape right here in our city. Dreams have been inspired by old maps of Montreal showing some thirty streams and rivers that have disappeared, and work is under way to make the dreams reality by reviving some of our own little rivers.

The Bleue Montréal project of the World Wildlife Federation in Quebec studied five Montreal boroughs where it will be possible to daylight lost rivers, create new ones or establish blue alleys. The organization has prepared feasibility studies for the St. Pierre River in the Sud-Ouest borough, the St. Martin River in Ville-Marie and the Provost River in Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension. The director of WWF-Canada in Quebec, Sophie Paradis, is leading the project in collaboration with local groups and a host of experts, including Isabelle Thomas of the Université de Montréal.

Parks and green spaces to be linked in Eastern Montreal with the Ruisseau-de-la-Grande-Prairie nature park project

The Sauvons le ruisseau Molson Coalition is spearheading the Ruisseau-de-la-Grande-Prairie nature park project, an 8 km-long blue-green alley to run between the Port of Montreal and the Back River, following the watershed of the Molson River that flowed through Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, St. Leonard and Anjou. The project would link 15 parks, marshes, ponds, wooded areas and brush land that can be found along the river bed. (The Molson River was covered in the 1950s.)


The Craig pumping station under the Jacques-Cartier bridge

And to unite them all, there is the project of the Comité pour la sauvegarde des pompes Craig that would see the old Craig pumping station transformed into an interpretation center on lost rivers and underground infrastructure. (The pumping station is that quirky stone building with a very high chimney under Jacques-Cartier bridge, stuck between Viger and the Ville-Marie Expressway – it even bears the Montreal crest).

Danielle Plamondon and  Pierre-Luc Rivest are two « drainers » who have explored  the station and the adjoining brick collector. (The St-Martin river was diverted into the Craig collector in the 19th century.) Built in 1887, the pumping station was meant as a solution to spring flooding: the station would pump flood waters to the St. Lawrence River and spare downtown residents . Although the building is abandoned since 1987, it still contains much of the original equipment.

Creating Links

This is not a new idea, but definitely one worth repeating….

Our map of Montreal’s Southwest demonstrates the sector’s potential as a wonderful playground for citizens and a home for wildlife.

Cyclists already know the bike paths along the Lachine Canal and the Canal de l’Aqueduc, as well as the magnificent waterfront cycling path running through LaSalle and Verdun.

Photographers enjoy the fauna in Parc des Rapides and Parc Angrignon, and amateur ornithologists delight in the numerous species of birds on the Falaise Saint-Jacques.

The insets show the green belt along the Falaise, the Turcot Nature Park and the Dalle Park between Côte-des-Neiges/Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and the Southwest.

How can these parcels of land be incorporated into a single green belt in Montreal’s Southwest, for the benefit of all residents in Lachine, Saint-Pierre, Côte Saint-Luc, Montreal West, Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, LaSalle, the Southwest and Verdun?

We would love to hear your suggestions!