Walk # 4 – Miron

I always wish the hotels were like they are in movies and TV shows, where if you’re in Paris, right outside your window is the Eiffel Tower. In Egypt, the pyramids are right there. In the movies, every hotel has a monument right outside your window. My hotel rooms overlook the garbage dumpster in the back alley.   Gilbert Gottfried
Started at Jarry and Iberville. Got off the 193 here.
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And right off the bat we are in Cirque du Soleil headquarters territory.
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Very hot today. Continued along Jarry and took this bus shelter shot just before turning north on 2nd.
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The main cirque building. They must have got a very sweet deal from the city to build here, yet when you see just how big their facilities are you also realize there simply just isn’t enough room in most places on the island to build anywhere on this scale (some of you will remember the old CN yards in the Point being a potential location, complete  with casino, until local residents nixed that idea). I do like to believe that Miron can be rehabbed, and it’s more than just an optimistic thing, we need to believe we can do it!
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There are no logos or billboards or shiny anything on or around any of their structures (which is kind of ironic given their relationship with Las Vegas) that tell you are in the land of the Cirque. You could drive by here a million times and never have a clue what these buildings really are. It’s kind of refreshing, actually. This one is the Ecole Nationale de Cirque which used to be located under a bridge on Berri street near Old Montreal. Brings back some sad memories as I had photographed one of the performers at the school for a friend who was doing figure studies of circus performers and not long after I had heard that the performer had died in an accident.
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Short tour along the side of the main building which features sculptures and gardens.
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And I have to admit as I passed by this figure I was half expecting it to turn and do something to scare me lol…Not your typical corporate headquarters for sure…
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Back on the other side of 2nd avenue is this building. I suspect this is a residence for out of town Cirque performers/trainees/coaches etc… Kind of a Frank Lloyd Wright meets Habitat ’67 mix.
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Cool sculpture in front.
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And on to Parc Jean Rivard. There are these rows of concrete blocks that seem to have been placed aesthetically yet their real purpose remains puzzling, aside from being a place to sit. But I never underestimate the creativity of even everyday city workers and this relatively obscure park is located very close to one of the most creative centers on the island, so go figure!
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And moving a little forward reveals that this is a back yard park, possibly a very underused space. The path in this  picture leads into the Miron site so I am not sure what was planned here, but there is certainly tons of potential.
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And looking behind me is a massive waste of space looking in to Miron.
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Head north and turn on deVille. It’s a relatively hot day and I honestly do not want to spend an hour walking flat out in the sun, so going to take the streets up the east side of Miron and see where any potential entry points may lay.
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Turned north on 8th which is a semi industrial street with some familiar names.
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A.M. Roofing which has a little nativity type scene on it’s own roof.
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Yes, I actually did come to this intersection.
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View up the lane from the sign.
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Looking like this is the typical type of housing in the area.
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This neighborhood has a  bilingual elementary school, St. Dorothy.
P1120552n  Took a turn or two and ended up at Parc Paul Ouelette at 5th and Pelican. Disappointed that my first potential entry spot into Miron is closed.
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Needed to take a bit of a break in the heat, not an unpleasant place to be.
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Did not know it when I took this picture that I would be seeing these a lot over the next hour or so.
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Back in the real world, suddenly this style looks relentless.
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 No justice from this picture but it is an incredible neighborhood where life is everywhere even if we can accuse these streets of being monotonous.
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Another potential entry at Iberville and Emile Journault – closed!
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Okay, so I guess it’s time to tell my little Miron story about the worker who died. I read a newspaper article after sneaking in to this site 5 or 6 times to photograph it and the article stated that the worker died because he had dropped a tool in a crater, Miron was like a burnt out exhausted version of Mars at the time, and he stepped down  into the crater to retrieve the tool, was overwhelmed by this small pocket of methane gas leaking, and died. Scared the pants off me and I gave up on Miron mainly because I understood I didn’t really know what I was doing in a potentially serious/dangerous situation. It was all about a project I was doing at the time about environmental stuff on the island of Montreal. Unfortunately, I had only found out after I quit Miron that some technical problems with my camera left me with only a handful of good shots from my time over the fence there. Just another reason why I love the digital era, less room for error!
   And it is an official entrance at Legendre!
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Getting a gauge on how enormous this site really is. Turcot/Miron, trust me, I know how to find them har har…
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Just for some perspective, zoomed a bit, Mount Royal in background, Universite de Montreal on the right side of that.
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And here is the most perplexing thing about Miron – are these things still active? There was, and still seems to be, tons of these things across the site. In the past they were probably part of an underground incinerator system but what’s going on now under this new, green, Miron? Is everything okay, or do we have to continue burning everything for  100 years? Are these things emitting gases or not? Who would you ask? For sure it is some kind of a release system.
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A moment where I felt like I was in a cemetery, weird!
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Nature reclaiming the surface anyway… That structure on the Papineau side of Miron is the Stade de soccer de Montreal.
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Parc Champdore runs up against Miron in the north east, and continues along the northern perimeter. Here is another of those blocks, and through this park there are a number of them with these poles that have a solar looking panel on the top. Anyone know what these are?
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Not sure if this is artificial turf or not but it is a serious field.
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Some views of Miron from along the north side.
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The path is nice, but a bit scary too, you are surprisingly isolated through here.
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Signs like this throughout but we not at the Bay of Fundy (wink).
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Couldn’t tell you if this is the result of pollution or is some kind of geological information.
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I worked for a company in the early 90’s that did contracting work at McGill and one day we loaded up a bunch of old metal desks and various office things into a truck and off we drove to Miron! It was so weird to be actually in the place legitimately. There were big lineups of trucks with people directing you to the appropriate place to dump your load depending on the type of materials you had. Ironic, sure, but my strongest memory of Miron is always going to be those massive swarms of birds diving and swerving like some kind of ballet/symphony as though the place was one big smorgasbord with zillions of never ending choices. Now we have acrobats flying through the air with the greatest of ease in the buildings in the south east corner and that is quite fitting and kind of closes this narrative for me, for now anyway.
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 And the trail ends here.
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So Miron will become a sort of environmental park, one where we can go and enjoy nature and reflect upon the consumer excesses that have brought so much harm to our planet.
   Don’t have much more to say than that, maybe the pictures are saying it for me, showing Miron in transition between purposes in a brave new world…
Community garden with solar thing.
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Only old men working in the garden.
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Left the park and basically headed north. Came across this at the corner of Charland and de Lorimier.
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Charland has spatterings of small businesses along this stretch.
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Patio ornament.
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North on Lille. Those train tracks can really divide neighborhoods.
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 Took a break in Parc Gabriel Lalemant. Serious courts.
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Weird to see this little run down section, but more lilacs compensates…
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Good community, family park.
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Former depanneur for rent on Lille.
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Heading east on Fleury. This stretch is like a little strip mall.
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And turned on Bruchesi (not an unpleasant downhill street).
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and went straight down past Gouin blvd and into Parc Nature de l’Ile de la Visitation.
Not sure about the authenticity of this old looking chalet but it looks like this is a good place to call it a day. No need to go stick a foot in the water (I can do that on the next walk).
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And just as I was heading back to Henri Bourassa to get a bus to the Metro I run into this character who was hanging around a culvert entrance on the side of the road I was on.
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P1120622nP1120623nI was surprised at how calm the animal was considering there was two other people beside me also taking pictures. It walked around us coming as close as 5-6 feet and went to the other side of the culvert where I was not expecting to see this at all.
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Mom seems quite content but I sure would not mess with her, and why would I want to?
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 And that was that. The next walk will start here and I will work my way back into the center of the city and I am excited about all the options ahead, so take care, and remember to get out there, because you just never know, says the photoflanneur!
Walk #4 Map

2 responses to “Walk # 4 – Miron

  1. always nice to go on these adventures with you.The narrative is always informative and fun. I do believe that pitch was turf.

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