Saturday, 17 July 2010

Saturday Photo: Outremont Community Garden Threatened by Development

Here's another community garden: the picture was taken through the fence that surrounds the one in Outremont. The garden was started at least 20 years ago, well before the little suburb surrounded by Montreal was incorporated into the greater city in 2002.

Tucked in between the railroad lines--yes, the same ones that run through Mile End--and Outremont's sports fields and rink, the land wasn't very promising at first. But through a lot of work by citizens and some help from the municipality, the garden has taken on an interesting form. The plots aren't as carefully marked out as the ones in Montreal's other community gardens, but a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and flowers are grown. The gardeners have also cooperated in planting shrubs like gooseberries as well as perennials around the edge.

But the railroad yards are going to be developed into a new health science campus for the Université de Montréal, with quite a bit of upscale housing included. There will be parks and space for another community garden, but at the moment the plans show the land this garden grows on to be slated for housing. The gardeners have protested but it remains to be seen if they will prevail: they don't want to throw away all the years they enriched the soil and planted things that survive our winters..


Ann Flowers said...

You have got a nice garden out there. I think a connection with plants means a connection with the nature itself.

lagatta à montréal said...

That's a bloody shame, and I hope the gardeners are able to fight this affront to their own contribution to urban redevelopment. I hope they can respond to the inevitable insinuations that everyone in Outremont is privileged and defending such privilege (the Toronto island cottages come to mind). We've been hearing that a lot against Plateau Mont-Royal residents of late, with the Projet Montréal administrations greening initiatives - from editorialists who make far more money than the average Plateau resident.

There is plenty of room at the yards to develop housing and the campus around the existing garden and other Outremont facilities. Will all the housing be upscale? Not everyone living there would be full professors and MDs; there could be lots of students and staff who don't make big salaries.

modeflowers said...

Pretty flowers and beautiful garden you have. Keep it up.