Been having a kind of film noir week so the other day I decided to return to Turcot Yards for the first time in years. It started raining when I left and I was kind of wet cycling in the rain but I made it to a spot where I could take a picture of a new (temporary?) tunnel they are building on the Turcot site. And that is de Carillon street where the road used to go down under that train bridge.
There have been two very interesting archaeological finds on the Turcot grounds in the last few years. First, the foundations for the old Turcot Roundhouse were discovered. A little publicized public consultation took place where an “expert” testified that there was no real heritage value to this foundation and it was dug up. Any other result would have been a shocking surprise. Second, foundations and artifacts of the original Village des Tanneries were recently discovered and it appears, once again, that the City and the provincial government will save some of the boxes discovered but will bulldoze the sight anyway.
I knew of both discoveries but chose not to get involved, I was busy, had other priorities, or so I told myself.
Turcot was part of the past.
In recent years I buried myself in jobs I hated, quit that vicious cycle, and started working on personal projects while basically using Facebook as a vague blogging platform. That has not been very satisfying over all. I stopped writing on urban issues and a lot of things I love.
I like to think that that moment in the rain looking at Turcot in some strange interim between the old and the new, and the not so Superhospital on the escarpment, was enlightening. It felt like I belonged, somehow, to all of this, past battles, a few small victories, and major loss. I thought of all the amazing people I met as a result of my Turcot campaign and that’s inspiring. I even started a short story on some of these thoughts and feelings.
“The rain comes down softly, slowly, wetting his t shirt as he rides through the old hood. It’s a good day to come back, he thinks. No one around, likely. Some spots maybe, but not out here. Who would still be around anyway? Let’s just ease in here slowly, like a stranger, that’s me, stopping in a random place to maybe take a break on a long ride. Just passing through, folks, nothing to see over here. I am not anyone here anymore, most likely.”
I have been away.
But it feels like I am back.
And here are some photographs taken by Michael Litvack a few months back.