Archive for June, 2007

I brought a camera when I went for my walk. To see the pictures, click here or on the photo below.

falaise st. jacques

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The article I wrote about my walk on the falaise is in today’s Gazette.

Andy Riga
The Gazette

It was an inauspicious start to a hike through a jungle in Notre Dame de Grace.

As I lost my balance and my sandalled feet slipped down the hill, I grabbed for a branch, any branch – the wrong branch, it turned out. It was covered in thorns, one of which remained wedged in my right thumb.

The good news: The searing pain – plus the scratches, bruises, mosquito swarms and fallen-tree obstacle courses to come – helped me block out the roar of Highway 20, a few hundred metres away.

My mind could focus on the mission: exploring remnants of the long-lost park of legendary Montreal mayor Jean Drapeau.

Click here for the rest.

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That’s a photo of the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto, where advertisers can pay to have their corporate logos and brand names displayed in shrubbery by the side of the highway.

In the 1980s, an entrepreneur asked the city of Montreal to let him to do something similar on the falaise, former Montreal city councillor Sam Boskey tells me. The city turned him down.

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the falaise and lachine

I haven’t been able to verify this but I thought I’d throw it out there.

Avrom Shtern of the Green Coalition tells me the escarpment actually continues into Lachine:

“You can see the shale (finely stratified sedimentary rock formations) near the Highway 13 and railway yards area of what once was once called the ‘Lachine Woods.’ CN and CP built their railway yards, after World War II near that area because it was far enough to skirt Mount Royal and was on a plateau. Also, this escarpment was once at water’s edge of the inland sea called ‘The Champlain.’ Meadowbrook experiences flooding after rain storms and spring run-off because of the downward slop.”

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The falaise may play a supporting role in an upcoming action movie.

From today’s Gazette:

There is also the action movie Death Race 3000, a remake of the 1970s cult favourite Death Race 2000, which has already set up shop at the Alstom Yards in Point St. Charles and is expected to shoot many of the race sequences in the abandoned Turcot Yards just off Highway 20.

It is going to be “a no-holds-barred, ultraviolent car race, set in 2020.”

It could be set on any present-day Montreal street.

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Falaise path advocates suggest the bike path planned for the McGill University Hospital Centre in the old Glen rail yard should be linked to a path crossing at least part of the falaise.  

The city of Montreal is expecting the new McGill superhospital project to connect its de Maisonneuve Blvd. bike path, which ends at Decarie Blvd., with the Westmount bike path on de Maisonneuve Blvd., which begins at Claremont Ave. Currently, there’s a 400-metre gap between these two paths.

The superhospital proposal (see map above) has the Montreal de Maisonneuve path swerving on to Girouard Ave., then Upper Lachine Rd, before winding its way on to hospital grounds and making its way to Westmount.

The problem is a borough urban-planning committee doesn’t like the plan (page 4 of this PDF, and on page 7 of this PDF) because the proposed link is circuitous and includes a 20-metre-long tunnel considered unsafe.

The map is from an MUHC document that can be found in this pdf (beware, it’s a huge file).

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I walked the length of the falaise on Monday morning. I snapped these pics. I’ll post more next week.



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