Walk # 5 –

“Walkers are ‘practitioners of the city,’ for the city is made to be walked. A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that language, of selecting from those possibilities. Just as language limits what can be said, architecture limits where one can walk, but the walker invents other ways to go.”
Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking

As has become standard practice on these walks I started where I left off at the entrance to Parc nature de L’Ile de la Visitation.


And as stated previously I am not going to spend much time in parks as many of the great city parks are worthy of an entire post themselves so I will leave that for another time.

Headed west on Gouin boulevard, considered the longest street on the island of Montreal. And it has a bike path.


Tons of old and cool looking houses along here.



Looks like a car ad with a “timeless” prosperity theme.


View towards the park looking down rue du Pressoir.


Coffee shop/boutique open only on on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Le Pressoir Du Sault.


Mix of old and new. These arrangements are usually based on preserving the older structure.


Corner of de Lorimier and Gouin, Les Frites Lesage.


Parc Lomer Gouin.


Some more houses.



Much bigger tree in the back than this view suggests.


Not sure what those blooms are but they are impressive.


Going over the road to Laval at Papineau.


And in case you were wondering if this is one of the oldest neighborhoods on the island you would be right. It’s called Sault au Recollet.

Here is Paroisse La Visitation, founded in 1736, the large church built a few years later.


Smaller building on the left I assume is from the same era.


It’s hard to imagine today but I bet life was pretty hard on this island back then, long brutal winters and very much cut off from the rest of the world.


Turned up rue des Jesuites. Across Henri Bourassa is the College Mont Saint Louis.


And crossed at rue du Fort Lorette and into the Cimitiere du Sault au Recollet, an old cemetery. I did not walk the whole thing but I did notice a tombstone engraved with someone being born in 1803, probably many before that too.


It is not a huge cemetery but may have been adequate for local usage for over 100 years.



Moving on, the neighborhood around here is a pleasant mix of houses and small apartment buildings as we see here on Prieur.


La Promenade Fleury.



Heading south on Curotte it’s looking more suburban.


Lots of these flat houses around here, Hamel and Sauriol.


Parc Saint Paul de la Croix. And I found a badly worn out but still inflated soccer ball that I kicked through the park.



It’s not an exiting park but all the playing fields look to be in excellent condition.


Headed south on Christophe Columb. And a mix of newer and not so oldish on Sacre Coeur.


Headed into a rail line so went back to Christophe Columb and headed south.


Power lines follow the tracks.


Major north south bike path runs along Christophe Columb. Interesting concept coming up at Louvain. The bike path cuts across the sidewalk to avoid pressure at the intersection but it does make things awkward for pedestrians it would appear.


Looks like mainly housing projects west of the bike path through here.


But also appears to be some newer developments as you move along. Eclectic is good.


It’s dull but pleasant through here and a nice place to fix a flat.


Before turning west on Legendre I noticed the east side of Christophe Columb was greenbanked south of there. Maybe another  walk will bring me through …


Looks like a forest south of here.


Realizing I was heading into a dead end I decided to try a trail through the woods.


Parc du Boise de Saint Sulpice. And a very nice park it is.



Obligatory writing…


But it is not a huge park and before I knew it I came out on Emile Journault in front of the  Complexe Sportif Claude Robillard. It was built for the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal.


To the northwest of me is College Ahuntsic.


Sensing an opportunity, I decided to cut through the Claude Robillard space to see where the heck I might come out…

The main structure is not a beautiful building by any means and the area immediately around it looks dated if only because of the consistency of the architectural style which includes landscaping elements.


West of here is dominated by these types of apartment blocks.


There is tons of construction on this site and I am beginning to wonder if I will have to go back, but, I see cars or people moving in the distance and decide to carry on hoping there will be some way through that will not involve climbing a fence.


Working my way south I come upon this awesome looking hybrid type of building in the distance. Turns out this is College Andre Grasset.


No idea if these are residences for the college or condos but they sure cut across the horizon looking east. Thinking condos at the computer a few days later.


And moving west through a parking lot I see land, but I stop to photograph this building because this array of windows, a style of which I noticed in Saint Henri the previous evening, reminded of  something, and I will post about that soon.


Back in the real world, around Saint Hubert and Cremazie, This building gets my attention. And it is the Centre de securite civil of Montreal.


Crossing south on Saint Hubert under the Metropolitan with this stark view. Incredible weight of moving vehicles above me as rush hour gets going.P1120934n



Heading west on Liege, self portrait in window.


Took a break at Parc LeMan.


I see a lot of Bixi stands on these walks.


I am almost swooning with nostalgia seeing some triplexes on Belges.


Jarry Metro. Talk about living close to public transportation!


Paroisse St. Vincent Ferrier.


Still some lilacs out like in front of this tiny house on de Gaspe.


Bit of an unusual building/back staircase on Gounod.


Seeing tin sheds will always make me think of Verdun.


And in to Jarry Park!


Zooming in on the old Jarry Stadium, original home of the Montreal Expos. I got to know this park well when I lived in Park Ex in the 80’s and into the 90’s. But my fondest memory is of my Dad taking to me to Opening Day in 1970, still some snow visible beyond the fences and Bob Gibson pitching for the Cardinals! Utopia.


It’s basically just a run through but I can see the park has changed quite a bit over the years, and some things appear to be for the better.


Now obligatory gazebo shot!


But not everything looks great to me such as this contrived looking path-by-lake with development. Not the kind of future one would have predicted for this park in a strong working class immigrant part of the city. Looks more like Laval to me.


Moving south on Saint Laurent the former school for the deaf is now condos.


Apartment building at Jules Verne and Saint Laurent. That style didn’t stay in vogue very long but the lobby(s) still looks strange.


Will we ever hit the saturation point?


Saint Laurent and Jean Talon.


Heading west on Jean Talon.


And at my destination, the old CP Rail station at Park and Jean Talon.


Couple of bonus shots.


Waiting for the 80 bus to go down Parc. The building on the right side just west of the next street was a Greek Theatre back in the day.


And that was that! Quite an epic walk, different types of weather, wild variety of architecture, parks, and so on. It is amazing what you can cover in Montreal basically going in a straight line! Until the next time, says the old photoflanneur!

Walk # 5 Map















One response to “Walk # 5 –

  1. What a great piece of photojournalism, Neath! You covered some of Montreal ‘ s most romantic bike routes and landscapes. Always something weird to be discovered in this amazing city…

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