Sylvied over at Bagatelles honoured this blog with this award, so in true blogospheric spirit I will pass it on to five others who will surely luv me 4 evr for it.
And in no particular order……
From The People’s Railway by Donald MacKay (discussing World War 2).
Douglas V. Gonder, later a vice-president but then a young locomotive foreman in charge of CN’s biggest roundhouse at Turcot, Montreal, had 450 machinists, boilermakers and others working at 30 pits. He remembered a condfidential letter warning of sabotage and holding foreman personally responsible for locomotives under their care.”We had to watch everything. For instance, a bar of soap thrown into a tender full of water would make the engine foam and cause breakdowns on the road. But we had little sabotage. Some agents came ashore on the Gaspe from submarines, including one fellow who had a plan to blow up the bridge at Matepedia, which would have knocked out trains to Halifax, but they were discovered. At Turcot we had quite a few Italian boys and all of a sudden I lost several of my best men. They just didn’t show up. They had been incarcerated for the duration because someone questioned their loyalty.” P134
There has been much publicity of the internment of Japanese people on the west coast during that war, but what of all the others picked up and held as potential conspirators, saboteurs, terrorists?
The Government of Canada has offered amends.
And then the war was over.
Whenever I look at old pictures like this I realise
just how filthy urban life must have been when
trains ran with coal. Here we see Turcot Yards
looking like it is just so thick with soot and the
air with all that smoke from trains must have
been of a poor quailty. As hard as it may be
to believe with all the cars in the city today,
it sure looks a whole lot cleaner!
“The house where Jean had found his little furnished room was just in front of the swing-bridge of St. Augustin street. It could watch the passage of flatboats, tankers that stank of oil or gasoline, wood barges, colliers, all of them giving a triple blast with their foghorns just before its door: their demand to be let out from the narrows of the towns into the wide, rough waters of the Great Lakes.
But the house was not only on the path of the frieghters. It was also near the railway, at the crossroads of the eastern and western lines and the maritime routes of the great city. It was on the pathways of the oceans, the Great Lakes, and the prairies.
To its left were shing rails. Directly in front of it shone red and green signals. In the night, coal and dust and soot flew around it, amid a cavalcade of wheels, the frenzied gallop of puffing steam, the long wailing of whistles, the short, chopped blast from the chimneys of the flatboats; among these sounds tripped the shrill, broken ringing of the alarm and, prolonged beyond this clamour, the slow purring of a ship’s screw. Often, when he awoke at night with all these sounds about him, Jean imagined he was on a voyage, sometimes on a freighter, sometimes on a Pullman car. He would close his eyes and go to sleep with the agreeable impression that he was escaping, constantly escaping.”
These word are from The Tin Flute, a translation of Bonheur d’occasion, the famous novel by Gabrielle Roy set in Saint Henri
during the end of the depression and the start of World War Two.
The story compassionately follows one impoverished family and their realities and hopes and dreams.
Here is a picture of her at Saint Henri Station (north view).
One of the more subtle subway art pieces you will ever see is the words Bonheur d’occasion embedded in the brick at Place Saint Henri Station.
and here is the south view of the Metro Station today.
Here is a great view of the whole of Turcot that allows us to easily see how the waterways explained in the last post could have been.
A- Centre Gadbois
B- Falaise St. Jacques
C- Turcot Interchange
D- Turcot Yards
E- Angrignon Interchange
F- Lachine Canal
G- Canada Malting Plant
The Riviere Saint Pierre would have flowed roughly like this.
There is an enourmous amount of water in this area so it isn’t hard to imagine a lake being in the area of Turcot. Fascinating, isn’t it?
Photograph by Jean-Francois Brulotte at Barraclou.
There is a lot of controversy regarding these structures. Some argue they are huge and create an annoying visual field amongst other things – see Cape Cod residents unhappy with offshore wind turbines while others will say that in a world full of telephone poles and hydro towers these will hardly be noticed– see a conservative opinion page that says the US government
has always been prioritizing environmental issues.
I believe they are an essential component of the future of energy and now is the preffered time to be taking a good long look at them.
For a review of some of the primary pros and cons concerning wind turbines go to this page from Healthlink.
Some young people set this up. It s a lot of work to drag that stuff from all around.
Here is a rendering of the to be developed park in downtown Houston.
And here is a “before” picture.
Project for Public Spaces (PPS) helped the Houston Downtown Park Conservancy, a group of leading local foundations, philanthropists and civic officials, to facilitate a community process to develop a vision and program for the future park, with the idea that this would become Houston’s “Backyard.”
And from the Houston Downtown Park Concervancy,
The first step in our process was to investigate the wide range of parks in other great cities and identify those that are vibrant centers of the city’s life. We looked for parks that attracted people to not just sit and enjoy the view but to do things individually and in groups. We found parks that were filled with people, that were a destination in their area because they provided a place for interaction, a place with people and a place where this could and did happen.
So they integrate those ideas into the Houston lifestyle or culture and you have another world class inner city park!
Just picked this up at The Digital Archive.
Quebec Government is renaming Highway 20 to Rememberance Highway
If you’re heading home to the West island right now there’s a good chance you’re taking “Autoroute du Souvenir.”
What the heck is “Remembrance Highway” you ask?
It’s what Highway 20 used to be called.
The Quebec Government is renaming Highway 20 between the Turcot yards and the Ontario border in honour of our veterans.
The Quebec Provincial Command of the Royal Canadian Legion says they’ve been fighting for the change.
The name change is immediate but no word on when the new signs will go up.
From the 40′s this is the best picture I have found yet.
This was the largest roundhouse in Canada
and would have made an excellent acrchitectural
heritage site in and of itself but was torn down around 1962 to make way for the
Turcot Interchange that would be completed in 1966.
In Toronto, they recently celebrated 35 Years Without the Spadina Expressway! This may seem like a bizzare thing to celebrate but given how many large scale bad projects cities have had to learn to live with this comes as a refreshing surprise.
Marshall McLuhan and Jane Jacobs were among the notables
who were opposed to the construction of the expressway.
Said McLuhan “Toronto will commit suicide if it plunges the Spadina Expressway into its heart… our planners are 19th century men with a naive faith in an obsolete technology. In an age of software Metro planners treat people like hardware — they haven’t the faintest interest in the values of neighbourhoods or community. Their failure to learn from the mistakes of American cities will be ours too.”
Here is a rendering on the proposed expressway.
And in Montreal we know from our own Decarie Expressway that the drawing is probably an idyllic version of a certain urban nightmare.
(ok, that only happened once, heh heh)
Wouldn’t it be great if in 35 years we are celebrating that the development of Turcot Yards was NOT a series of light industrial boxes the access of which would make life miserable for anyone who needs to go near the place?
Here is a photograph of some freeway art by Gary Voth.
Here is a good article that outlines the history and discusses problems of restoration of LA’s freeway murals.
There is also the Mural Conservancy of Los Angles (MCLA)
Perhaps the most well known and influential (aside from the enourmous influence of Diego Rivera) mural artist in LA is Kent Twitchell ( work already seen above in Gary Voth’s photograph).
But there has recently been some trouble in paradise as a developer has painted over one of Twitchell’s works, a large painting of LA artist Ed Ruscha.
It is going to be interesting for everyone interested in public art to see how that plays out in the courts.
Meanwhile, grafitti tagging is taking it’s toll on the system.
Here is a mural by Frank Romero done for the LA Olympics.
And a great example of what to do with the columns under the freeways by Angel.
Significant company in the history of Turcot. It started out as the Canada Car Company in 1905 and its plant at Turcot, Montreal was completed in August 1905 and had a capacity of 7,500 freight cars and 150 passenger cars per year. Full story here.
In 1909 this plant joined in the merger with Dominion Car & Foundry Co., Montreal, and Rhodes, Curry & Co., Amherst, N.S. under the name Canadian Car & Foundry Co.
Various buildings belonging to CC&F were located along the north side of the Lachine Canal or just along the south side of Highway 20.
Some offices were here
And this was a pattern shop
Here is a detail of the large main plant located on Place Turcot (street)
Today the main plant is covered in the aluminum siding of the Krueger papermill company.
And here is a view from above showing the ol CC&F plant (Krueger)and in the upper left a much busier Turcot Yard and the Interchange.
For more Industrial Photographs from McGill University please go here.