Walk # 8

“Musing takes place in a kind of meadowlands of the imagination, a part of the imagination that has not yet been plowed, developed, or put to any immediately practical use…time spent there is not work time, yet without that time the mind becomes sterile, dull, domesticated. The fight for free space — for wilderness and public space — must be accompanied by a fight for free time to spend wandering in that space.”
Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking

Kind of a shaky day for a walk, looked like it could rain, but maybe not. I needed to get out there! Started out at Vendome Metro.


Here is that bus shelter I mentioned in Walk # 7 that seems comically impotent in terms of actually doing much for the sheer numbers of people who tend to line up there for the 105 bus.


De Maisonneuve and Decarie. It’s actually an extremely busy intersection but looking fairly dull in this picture.


Fire escapes on Decarie.


Typical apartments along here.


The famous Buffalo Jeans billboard (they have had that wall exclusively for a good twenty years) with a mural on the other side of Sherbrooke, second longest street on the island of Montreal.


Looking back, that little KFC has been there forever.


Heading west on Sherbrooke, this place traditionally places very high on best souvlaki in Montreal polls.


Crossing Decarie expressway. It feels like I live in a small city to see a major freeway with only three lanes in one direction, not complaining, though. And certainly not suggesting we need more lanes. It is too bad the Ministry of Transport of Quebec is pro 1950’s style freeways, even in 2016. The Turcot farce is less than a kilometer south of here. Check out this weird blurb that suggests that a link from downtown through Turcot will somehow solve the airport to downtown riddle which has not been solved in almost 10 years despite tons of public consultations, professional suggestions, etc etc.


Chalet BBQ, another legendary restaurant that seems like it has been there forever.


Classic NDG apartment building for Sherbrooke street.


Entering NDG park, or Girouard Park, as some call it, one of the truly great community parks in the city.


It includes a well used dog run. We have one in Verdun but for most people it is about as far away as it can be and still be in Verdun.


It’s a very well thought out space, lots of things to do, but never claustrophobic.


These fountains are nice.


Large church across the park on the north side.


Looking back, awesome tree.


Better view of River’s Edge church.


Heading west on Cote Sainte Antoine and found this in the yard in front of the Ecole Etoile Filante which is part of the Ecole Notre Dame de Grace Annexe. The sign reads, “Attention! Jardin Empoisonne. ne touche pas.”


North on Oxford. Don’t ask my why but this type of house reminds me more of Toronto than Montreal…


Film crew been working at the corner of Oxford and Notre Dame de Grace.



Mandatory cat in lane picture.


Great looking big old country house in the city.


As I start walking upwards so rises the property values it seems.




Heading west on Monkland this entrance caught my eye.


Heading north on Royal I find a pretty big film outfit parked alongside the park. Lots of that in the city right now with the Canadian dollar low once more.


*can’t throw a brick in Montreal without hitting a traffic cone* (paraphrase of Mark Twain’s statement about not hitting a church window in Montreal – which I seem to enjoy repeating {Wink}).


Classic school building. Wilingdon Elementary School.


Times have changed.


The box on the left says, “”It’s not about what it is, it’s about what it can become.” Dr. Seuss.”  I love that. I went to a tough all boys elementary school in Verdun. Many of us almost say it was tough like we are proud of it, but there were guys in their mid teens attending that grade school, like they were almost legal adults for ranting out loud, bullying was rampant, and a lot of psychological pain was inflicted. It was an ancient system that was failing the community, and it’s children, and I was part of a generation that got caught at the end of that and didn’t see any positive changes until about grade 9 or 10 in high school, and for many that was already way too late. So nice to get the feeling that our schools are, hopefully, better today.


North on Hampton and duplexes are getting to be more common.


Maybe they are aliens trying to be friendly *we thought we would help tidy up before we said hello*


Looking east on Somerled (possible name influence?) we can see the basilica of Saint Joseph’s Oratory (zoomed a bit).


View of Somerled Park. It’s not a fantastic image, extraordinarily average I would say, but it reminds me of how beautiful the city can be just the same.


Heading up the north side of the park on Hingston. I would love to take a tour of the house on the left. Something quirky or off the wall just gets my curiosity going. And it should be said that walking through these neighborhoods does raise questions about who lives where and how would I like it around a given area. But the  key to really totally enjoying urban walking is to suspend judgement and just get absorbed in the details while enjoying the sweeping strokes of the urban environment. It’s paying off really well pour moi!!


Ok, tennis courts, bleachers and what looks like a box office, yep, they take their tennis pretty seriously in these parts!




In the never saw this before dept… looks like this home owner has constructed a wall/noise barrier/view denier in front of a bus stop.


Further west along Fielding I come into Parc de la Confederation. Memorial stones for two world wars.


And here is what auto focus does if you get lazy with “sticking your lens” through a wire fence. So I am posting it because it is kind of a fun shot.


I could be wrong but it sure looks like one of those artificial outdoor rinks, like the one in Verdun, sponsored by Les Canadiens de Montreal. And the more you can make anything outdoors multi purpose, and especially multi seasonal in Canada, you have succeeded on many levels – Bravo!!


View of Doug Harvey Arena in the south end of the park.


Public garden looking very healthy.


These two horseshoe pits look sort of sad and lonely and forgotten on this potentially stormy day but they look like they get used!


North side of park looking “north”  and who knows which way you are really looking in Montreal?


And out of duplexville into apartment buildings.


At the north end of the park there is a school.


And across the street is an apartment complex that has an electronic scoreboard telling you that there is info available at apartment # XXX.


But getting back to that school, Ecole Saint Luc  , it is not very inspiring to look at in its  dull drab concrete blandness,  but I am sure it has produced many great students!

two schools

West on Chester is, couldn’t resist photographing yet more evidence of the alien landing,  the Richardson Hospital/ Henri Bredet Residential Centre complex. For all I know former students of the Ecole Saint Luc are residing there. Weird, yet a potentially powerful statement about the power of community over a lifetime.


Better view.


Cote Saint Luc Road and Cavendish.


Looking a little run down around here, overcast and grey doesn’t help.


These apartments look like they may have emphasized “privacy” when they were built.


Cote Saint Luc Fire Station.


Father Martin Foley Park.


Cote Saint Luc Shopping Center.


Train passing through. And I saw someone walk through here ahead of me so why not?


But some instinct kept nudging me to take the high road.


But the tracks are fenced in.


So had to go around and go under the overpass on the other side from where I started. Gave those birds on the wire a bit of a laugh I guess, and always happy to oblige our feathered friends that way.


Not a great shot (could be awesome with some sunlight to play with) but you get the idea.


It was starting to rain a bit so I took a break in a bus shelter to get out my rain gear – a partially broken umbrella, just like yours, eh?

Cote Saint Luc and Robbie Burns 2

Just a kind of random urban image (aka not sure what to say about this one).


Soon it’s becoming greener and greener, and wetter.


Parc Richard Swartz.


Good to see exercising equipment becoming standard in parks.


And Cote Saint Luc Road has pretty much morphed into a small country lane (pothole just to remind you that you really still are in Montreal).


Meadowbrook Golf course.


Haven’t been here in at least 5 years but you can read a few of my old posts about Meadowbrook here and here and here (strange for me to look back too because now I post 100 picture posts of my walks around town and back then a typical post might have had 7-8 pictures, but such is the difference probably between spending money on film and doing it free in digital).

As I mentioned back in the day, the irony of the fight to save Meadowbrook lay in the fact that in the past people typically protested the razing of a forest for creating a golf course (see Oka Crisis) and then we found ourselves protesting the destruction of a golf course for development. What goes around…




So it is easy to forget there is a massive train yard next door whose shunting activities can sound like thunder to people who live in the area.


And trains do roll through here.


But not going to explore here further today, though I did get the idea of heading to the south end, but the ground was wet and it was still raining and I wasn’t confident I could recall exactly where I would come out, so back up Cote Saint Luc I went…and headed south on Sheraton. Very suburban through here.


And there is a certain green lushness in a place like this that you won’t find in more recent developments.


Love having a picture on the backboard.


Parc Toe Blake traffic calms this street.


Nice little functional community park, doesn’t require a lot of imagination.


Went through the park and saw this school on Edinburgh.


It’s a great community, but I am really not sure about living so close to those power lines. Government of Canada page claims there is little risk claims there is little risk.


On to Westminster in Montreal West and it’s up we go heading south (also realized it had stopped raining around this point).


Looking west.


And looking east.


Looking ahead (south).


Typical architecture along this stretch of Westminster.


Throw in some houses like this…


Did I already mention green lushness? Yea…


Turned east on Nelson. Montreal West Presbyterian Church.


South on Ballantyne.


West on Curzon. Montreal West United Church (If anything, I seem to have developed a knack for finding houses of worship).


Took a break and sat on a bench on Westminster for a bit before moving on. It’s a very nice small town kind of feeling around here and as the commercial stretch of this street starts you get a sort of “village” feel to it.


Just my luck there is no train coming when I get down here but traffic does stop when a train goes into or comes out of Montreal West train station. By the way, that traffic you see going straight ahead is headed for Sherbrooke street which basically starts here.


The old tower.


Looking west.


Better view of the station.


Still moving south on Westminster. Montreal West Community Center.


Local cenotaph.


Walked through that space because I was curious about this building in the background and shot it through a fence. Royal West Academy, which, according to this wiki page, is one of the finest English public high schools in Quebec.


Montreal West town hall.


Heading towards the former city of Ville Saint Pierre along Avon.


At the bottom of the hill you come out on to an overpass. Looking east.


Kind of weird to be able to look down into someone’s windows.


Avon has become Saint Jacques and I see this on the side of a building.


Getting closer to the freeway, don’t have to be a sociological genius to make these connections.


That tree is special, but I was initially  attracted by the concrete noise barrier wall than runs along highway 20, which I have seen countless times from the freeway, but not from the residential side, at least not up close.


Almost looks attractive at this point.


Our obsession with concrete…surely it’s obvious that this is probably the least attractive building material you can use, otherwise we would all live in grey boxes, right? It dehumanizes everything and doesn’t last anywhere near as long as other proven materials – see “Pyramids” “Victoria Bridge” etc etc etc…the only thing I can figure is that concrete is the easiest material to jack and gouge pricing on, like how can you really keep track of it, therefore, as long as we have corruption, you can make major money with concrete, which itself  is actually something like a powder, the Tang of construction materials, perfect when you can charge astronomically, so to speak…


Tempting, but I bailed to the right.


Saint Pierre Interchange up ahead.


Life beside a freeway can be brutal.


These are what I call optimistic hedges.


And I see a way into Ville Lasalle.. yes!


Looking north up Avenue Saint Pierre.


Looking back.


In the 60’s we were obsessed with elevated freeways because at the time they seemed like astonishing solutions to potentially complex problems such as how to move everything in and out of the city efficiently on a daily basis. And it might have worked if burning fossil fuels, spreading infrastructure such as roads and plumbing as far away from the city center as possible (just think of the increased long term maintenance costs, then think again about that in a climate such as Quebec’s) all the while continuing with policies that leave vast tracts of land unproductive. It’s a perfect recipe for the situation we find ourselves in globally today, says Mr 2020Hindsight! (by the way, those are aliens).

Looking east.


The lift bridge that takes you from Ville Saint Pierre over the Lachine Canal and in to Ville Lasalle.


A better view.


Canal looking pretty good.


Looking west.


Self portrait a la Friedlander going up Dollard.


I probably would have been sort of insulted had Ville Lasalle not properly greeted me in this summer of our misunderstood traffic cone. I will walk through.


Lasalle has this very serious industrial park which has a drawbridge (ok, a dry drawbridge) and a security guard –  probably won’t be ever walking through there! (wink).


I see Land! (shopping center).


Looking west you can see the Seagram’s tower (crazy damn good drone video)


Corner of Dollard and Newman.


And this is the bus stop at which I shall wait to take the 106 bus to Angrignon Metro where I will ride to de l’Eglise  and take my extremely happy camper self home to relax and reflect!

Yea, this was the epic ride, and I have to admit now that I did want to end up in Lasalle on this trek except I somehow thought that I would end up at Angrignon Metro but ended up much west of there as far as walking goes.  Had some doubts en route but never felt like throwing in the towel even if it did make sense at a few times lol…what makes you stronger will probably kill you anyway, but you may have more fun along the line for the trying, says the old photoflanneur! Take care!!

Walk # 8 Map

















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