Jane's Walk on May 5th, 2018: Between the Fences

Post date: Apr 19, 2018 8:43:26 AM

We explored the south end of Park Extension, where there are many fences, by walking along Beaumont Avenue from west (TMR) to east (a short section of Jeanne-Mance), turning north to the Parc Metro (1931 railway station of highest architectural heritage rating). Landmark fences  illustrate urban transformation from agriculture, through 20th century industrialization served by CP rail lines, to regeneration of the vacated Outremont train yard into a science and research “pole" by the Université de Montréal with extensive government funding. Mary, Grace, and Sasha were guides.

In the spirit of Jane’s Walk we wonder what all this means to us and to the residents of the four surrounding boroughs today, and how we, as citizens, may influence positive change. The Park Extension Historical Society also gave guided tours over this route last summer for the 375Mtl celebrations. We found that the chunk between the Acadie and Park metros has variety and contrast, where a few historical vestiges are still to be seen and imagined. Time was devoted to the infamous Fence separating Montreal and Ville Mont-Royal and the 2019 footbridge entrance into Campus MIL, followed by forgotten factories.

Seen as well: electrical and former gas substations, two specialty bakeries, an early municipal low-rental project with references to Social Housing today, an industrial building of municipal Heritage Interest, examples of re-used textile buildings, a well-equipped playground and a future park, and the site of the first triplexes where Park Avenue and Beaumont Avenue meet. As a historical society PEHS collects information about life and commercial activity in former days. Therefore we invited Walkers who may have had stories about family or work experience in Park Extension.