Archive for the ‘Nature park’ Category

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!


Access to Meadowbrook Park

To achieve our goal of making Meadowbrook a nature park accessible to all, it is necessary to provide access for the population.

This map shows the full range of possibilities that can be achieved with the right will.

Currently, the only access point is at the end of Côte-Saint-Luc Road in the municipality of Côte-Saint-Luc. But Guelph and Mackle Roads, in the same municipality, could also provide access to the envisioned park, if Mackle is extended that far and if the grid is opened to the end of Guelph.

There have been suggestions for reducing traffic on Saint-Jacques Street in Ville Saint-Pierre by extending 1st Avenue to Norman and eventually to Meadowbrook, particularly within the framework of the reconstruction of the Saint-Pierre interchange. This is no small task, because it will require spanning the railway tracks in two locations. Such a project will, however, provide access to Meadowbrook for the people of Saint-Pierre (there is already a tunnel under the tracks at the intersection of Broughton and Norman).

Another promising possibility, this one for pedestrians, is found at the southernmost point of the golf course, where it meets the Hydro-Québec right of way (dotted blue line). A pedestrian path already follows the rail line, passing through the backyards and gardens of neighbouring homes. All that’s needed to extend it all the way to Meadowbrook is one small section at the end.

The 162 bus runs along Westminster, followed by the 103 along Côte-Saint-Luc Road. It’s possible to proceed on foot along the Hydro-Québec right of way to discover this little-known and delightful spot.

There is work still to be done to provide cycling access. The de Maisonneuve bike path runs to Westminster before descending Broughton to join the Lachine Canal bike path, far from Meadowbrook. Another difficulty may be the link between the future green belt at the foot of the Falaise Saint-Jacques and the de Maisonneuve bike path. This route is not guaranteed despite presentations on the subject by Les Amis du Parc Meadowbrook.

It will be interesting to follow this issue.