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Poste de transformation d'Hydro-Québec Viger-2 et parc commémoratif des Irlandais


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    Montreal plans to honour Irish famine victims who came to the city in 1847

    The Canadian Press
    Morgan Lowrie
    March 17, 2019
    11:58 AM EDT

    MONTREAL — While Montreal is generally viewed as a mixture of British and French influences, look closely enough and you’ll see the Irish have left their mark — including the 6,000 who lay buried in unmarked graves in the city’s Sud-ouest neighbourhood.
    In 1847, they came across the ocean on overcrowded ships in the hopes of a new life, but instead many collapsed and died near where they disembarked on the shores of the St. Lawrence River in almost two dozen fever sheds erected to contain the typhus epidemic.
    Their bones are still believed to be scattered there, under parking lots, a railway line, and at the foot of the Black Rock — a three-metre tall boulder erected in 1859 in their memory, which currently sits in a median between four lanes of traffic.
    For over a decade, Montreal’s Irish community has lobbied authorities for a park on the spot to serve as a more fitting memorial for the stone and the bones it guards, which historians believe to be the first-ever memorial to those affected by the potato famine, and the biggest Irish gravesite outside Ireland.
    “You can’t even get to the rock unless you take your life in your hands and run across the highway,” said Fergus Keyes, head of the Montreal Irish Park Foundation.
    “We want to make the area more commemorative.”
    Now, after years of being largely ignored by politicians, the dream is on the cusp of being realized thanks to an unlikely partnership with the province’s biggest hydroelectricity provider.
    When Hydro-Quebec purchased the land near the stone that had been coveted for the park in 2017 for a new substation, the Irish community panicked, Keyes said. But instead, the utility jumped on board as a partner, offering 3.5 acres of land for a future park that will be designed by the city and the Irish community.
    Keyes said he’s been touched by how the people at Hydro-Quebec, who are almost all francophones without Irish heritage, have embraced the project, offered funding and held numerous meetings with the community.
    “They’ve taken an ownership of this effort, and it’s quite interesting that they’re so protective,” he said.
    At a recent meeting, when someone suggested the possibility of moving the stone — a solution strongly opposed by the Irish community — a Hydro-Quebec representative stood up and said, “We’re not moving our rock,” Keyes recalled.
    Keyes said the city has also jumped on board, and now, instead of moving the stone, there’s talk of instead moving four-lane Bridge street so the stone could sit in the centre of the new green space.
    Donovan King, a historian and tour guide, said the Irish community “chernobyled” when Hydro-Quebec first bought the land. “Instead, they’ve turned into the best partners ever,” he said.
    As he led two dozen people on an Irish famine walking tour, he emphasized how the story of the 1847 tragedy is intertwined with that of Montreal’s other communities.
    As he paused by the crumbling greystone of the Grey Nuns former hospital, he described how three successive orders of nuns volunteered to nurse the sick, knowing full well that many of them would contract the illness and die.
    Later, next to the Lachine canal, he pointed out the site where the first fever sheds were erected on the orders of a mayor, John Easton Mills, who would himself die of typhus after volunteering to nurse the sick.
    Montreal, which had a population of about 50,000, received 70,000 Irish refugees in 1847 — the equivalent of some 2.4 million refugees today.

    Keyes said the future memorial park will pay homage not only to the 6,000 victims, but also to everyone who pitched in: clergy and military personnel who nursed the sick, Quebecois people who adopted orphaned children and First Nations people who contributed food and money to the relief effort.
    His vision of the park includes a water feature, an interpretation centre and maybe even a small plot to grow Irish Lumper potatoes — the crop whose failure set off the great famine and caused the exodus of 1 million people from Ireland.
    If all goes well, he said the park could be ready in 2023, when he hopes the area will once again drawn in foreigners from other countries. Only this time, they’ll be tourists.



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    • 2 months later...

    la Comité de travail du site de commémoration a déposé ce document au sujet de l'aménagement à l'OCPM hier 

    4 concepts préliminaires avec de l'eau (trait bleu). Point rouge = black rock

    Bassin mémoire



    Anneau de vie




    île mémoire


    Désolée pour la bande grise surle côté droit et les icônes d'Adobe, mais c'est pas pas que le logo de MTLURB cache les dessins ;)






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    • 7 months later...

    Publication dans le groupe FB du monument commémoratif


    General Update
    We are reporting that we had a productive and interesting meeting with the Mayor of Montreal earlier today. There were a dozen representatives of the Montreal Irish Community, by City invitation, in attendance - which provided a pretty fair overview of the concerns of our community as they relate to the City of Montreal. As well, there was The Mayor, and a number of City representatives in the room.

    It was mentioned that the City would have liked to have invited additional Irish individuals and groups but felt that a total of about 20 Irish & City people overall was the most manageable number for an open discussion.
    Although we did touch on a few other issues, there were two main points of contention that we had an opportunity to review in depth & in a fair, and reasonable manner.

    The first point was the “moving of Bridge Street” that is absolutely necessary to build a proper world-class memorial space around the Black Rock which, of course would remember the 6000+ Irish immigrants that died and were buried in the area in 1847 and also to honor the many Montrealers at the time of every language, religion, and heritage that provided care and comfort to these Irish.

    In this case, the City generally made a very clear commitment to relocate Bridge Street and seemed to fully understood our concern over this matter. As they say the “devil is in the details” – planning, costs, negotiations with Hydro Quebec that owns the land etc., etc. But the commitment to do everything possible to move Bridge Street was definitely and clearly stated by the Mayor and other City Councillor representatives at this meeting. I guess the statement that “We will move Bridge Street” is a clear as it can get!

    This commitment regarding Bridge Street is very, very excellent news for the community; and everyone that has been involved in this effort for the past 10-12 years and will allow planning for the actual memorial space to move forward.

    The 2nd point about the naming of the REM station after Mr. Landry was a little more contentious. The Mayor reinstated her belief that the Griffintown Station include the name of Mr. Landry. However, the members of the Irish Community in attendance, also made it very clear that having Mr. Landry’s name on the Griffintown station was completely unacceptable - and that thousands and thousands of Montrealers, many of non-Irish descent, were also very opposed to this idea. At the end, no real decision was made – the Mayor again mentioned that REM would be responsible for naming the station; however, she would spend some time to rethink her position over the next few weeks. We will await her final decision on this matter but regardless we think that we made it very loud & clear that the Irish Community, and other interested parties, will always be opposed to having Griffintown rebranded with Mr. Landry’s name.

    Some of the additional issues mentioned was the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Irish season events, as well as, the need for the GAA to find some proper space where their practices and games could be held.
    Overall, we can say that the Mayor was opened to hearing our concerns and including the REM Station naming where there was obvious disagreement, she indicated that she would fully consider all our comments.

    Time, as usual, will tell….

    Of course, any members of the Irish Community that were in attendance are encouraged to add their comments to our view of this meeting….

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    Plante open to diverting Bridge St. for Irish famine memorial, organizers say

    According to members of the Montreal Irish community, the mayor also indicated she might be willing to reconsider her controversial proposal to name the future REM station in Griffintown after late premier Bernard Landry.

    Updated: January 19, 2020

    Members of the local Irish community are optimistic about the prospects for a proposed memorial park to honour Montreal’s Irish famine victims after meeting with Mayor Valérie Plante last week.

    Plante expressed willingness to reroute part of Bridge St. so the park can be created on the site where up to 6,000 Irish immigrants died of typhus in 1847-48, according to some of those present at the meeting at city hall office on Wednesday.

    She also indicated she might be willing to reconsider her controversial proposal to name the future Réseau express métropolitain (REM) station in nearby Griffintown after late premier Bernard Landry, according to people who attended.

    “She said, ‘Yes, it’s our intention to move Bridge St. Yes, we’re 100 per cent committed to do a study on moving Bridge St.,’ ” said Victor Boyle, a director of the Montreal Irish Memorial Park Foundation, who attended the meeting with co-director Fergus Keyes. The foundation has been fighting for more than a decade to create a commemorative park on the site.

    In November, archeologists for the REM discovered the remains of more than a dozen people while digging near Bridge St., where the future light-rail system is being built. The discovery came as a vindication for members of the foundation, who have strived to bring the unmarked cemetery to public attention and create a small park around the Black Rock memorial to the typhus victims.

    The Black Rock is the world’s oldest Irish famine memorial. In 1859, workers building the Victoria Bridge installed and inscribed the giant boulder to honour the thousands who fled Ireland in overcrowded coffin ships in 1847-48, only to die of typhus on Montreal’s waterfront. At the time, Bridge St. did not exist.

    Today, the boulder sits on a median between traffic lanes in the busy commuter artery, where most people driving by barely notice it.

    Speaking to reporters after a news conference Thursday, Plante refused to confirm that her administration is willing to reroute Bridge St. so the memorial park can go ahead, saying Wednesday’s meeting was private.

    However, she acknowledged the present location of the Black Rock is unsuitable because people have to cross the fast-moving street to get to it.

    “Our goal as the city is to make sure that the Black Rock is in a place that will be easily accessible, because right now it is absolutely not accessible,” Plante said.

    However, other sources that attended the meeting also confirmed the mayor made it clear the city is open to moving the road, barring technical obstacles or objections from other institutions involved in redeveloping the area.

    Hydro-Québec, which is building an electrical substation nearby, has been extremely supportive of the memorial park, for which it has agreed to cede 1.5 hectares of its site.

    The mayor said at the meeting that the city will carry out a study on rerouting the road by 2021.

    However, Boyle said it’s crucial to carry out the study as soon as possible, since the configuration of Bridge St. could affect multiple projects underway in the area, where the Goose Village neighbourhood stood until its demolition in 1964.

    “We would like to take advantage of economies of scale, and if the city is doing construction with regard to any of these projects, let’s roll it out at the same time,” he said. “So we’re hoping the study isn’t dragged out.”

    Boyle said Plante was initially adamant at the meeting that the REM station should be named after Landry, but after hearing the concerns of those present, she agreed to consider the options.

    “Fergus made an excellent point. He said, ‘I’m not arguing as an anglophone or as an Irish descendant. I’m talking as a Montrealer who knows Montreal history. That in and of itself should stop you from putting Bernard Landry’s name on that REM station.’ And she listened,” Boyle said.

    Boyle said the foundation is not proposing to name the station after anyone else.

    “It should stay Griffintown station,” he said.

    The Montreal Irish Memorial Park Foundation’s favoured option for the park would be to locate it where the Black Rock now stands, and to reroute the road east of there. The park would include a pool to evoke the immigrants’ ocean crossing, a paved walkway, an agora, panels explaining the significance of the site and a vegetable garden to evoke the failed potato crop that caused the famine.

    The panels would focus not just on the suffering of the Irish, but also on humanitarian efforts to care for them. Many Montrealers died while nursing the sick, including nuns, priests, doctors and the city’s mayor at the time, John Easton Mills.

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    • 1 year later...

    Hydro-Québec veut acheter le St-Patrick d’Alfred Pellan

    (Granby) Alors que l’on craignait la destruction de la murale de St-Patrick, signée Alfred Pellan, Hydro-Québec souhaite acquérir l’œuvre patrimoniale par une offre d’achat de 25 000 $ déposée à la Ville de Granby. La société d’État veut intégrer la mosaïque au futur parc du Monument irlandais de Montréal.


    Cette proposition devait être étudiée par le conseil municipal de la Ville de Granby, lundi soir, dans le cadre d’une réunion virtuelle, mais le dossier a été retiré de l’ordre du jour. 

    En réponse à des questions du public, le maire Pascal Bonin a affirmé que « de nouvelles informations » avaient incité les élus à prolonger leur réflexion d’une semaine. Puis, en mêlée de presse virtuelle au terme de la séance publique, il a été mentionné que la décision finale pourrait n’être prise que le mois prochain. 

    La semaine dernière, La Presse Canadienne rapportait que le cabinet de la ministre de la Culture et des Communications, Nathalie Roy, surveillait l’évolution du dossier et se tenait prêt à intervenir bien qu’aucune demande officielle n’ait été formulée par la municipalité.

    Il semblerait toutefois que cela n’ait rien à voir avec le report de la décision. Le directeur général de la Ville de Granby, Michel Pinault, a simplement indiqué que les élus avaient besoin de plus de temps pour étudier toutes les informations reçues et que leur réflexion ne serait pas uniquement appuyée sur l’enjeu monétaire. 

    Selon les documents d’information transmis aux élus de Granby, dont les médias ont aussi reçu copie, on apprend que plusieurs acheteurs potentiels se sont manifestés auprès de la firme montréalaise Iegor après l’échec de la vente aux enchères du 13 mars. Deux offres sérieuses chiffrées à 15 000 $ auraient été déposées. 

    Toutefois, vendredi dernier, Hydro-Québec se serait adressée directement à la Ville de Granby pour offrir 25 000 $. De cette somme, Granby devrait en remettre 5000 $ à Iegor pour avoir préféré une offre externe à celles de l’encanteur. 

    Rappelons que l’acheteur devra également assumer les frais associés au prélèvement de l’œuvre. Selon un rapport d’expertise rédigé par la restauratrice Myriam Lavoie, du Centre de conservation du Québec, le coût de la délicate opération est estimé à 56 095 $. 

    D’après les informations fournies par Hydro-Québec, contenues dans les documents remis aux élus, la mosaïque serait intégrée au projet de commémoration pour honorer les quelque 6000 Irlandais morts du typhus en 1847. Ces immigrants fuyaient la famine en Irlande et contractaient la maladie à bord des bateaux les amenant à Montréal. 

    Le site de sépulture de ces milliers de personnes est situé à l’extrémité du pont Victoria, là où a été érigée la Roche noire (Black rock) qui sert de monument commémoratif. 

    Un parc doit y être aménagé par Hydro-Québec, en collaboration avec la Fondation du parc du Monument irlandais de Montréal. Le lieu de recueillement doit être aménagé sur un terrain adjacent au chantier de construction d’un poste électrique. 

    Créée en 1958

    La mosaïque de « carreaux de céramique avec glaçure » orne la façade extérieure de l’ancienne école St-Patrick de Granby depuis 1958. L’école accueillait jadis les enfants de la communauté irlandaise, mais l’immeuble, sis au 142, rue Dufferin, abrite aujourd’hui les locaux de la MRC de la Haute-Yamaska. Il doit cependant être démoli ce printemps pour faire place à un édifice neuf. 

    Au départ, le conseil municipal souhaitait conserver la murale, mais une estimation des coûts associés au prélèvement et à la restauration de l’œuvre a refroidi les élus. Selon le maire Pascal Bonin, la présence d’amiante dans le mur qui supporte l’œuvre ferait grimper la facture. Il soutenait aussi ne pas disposer d’endroit pour la mettre en valeur en raison de son caractère religieux. 

    De nombreux citoyens, les membres du comité Ma ville, mon patrimoine ainsi que la Société d’histoire de la Haute-Yamaska ont décrié la mise en vente de la murale qu’ils voient comme un objet patrimonial appartenant à la communauté. 

    Une importante communauté irlandaise a contribué à l’essor de la Ville de Granby. Son tout premier maire, Patrick Hackett, en faisait notamment partie.



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    Curieux, on devait débuter la construction du nouveau poste d'Hydro à l'été 2020 selon le planning de la société d'état. Mars 2021 et rien ne se passe. J'imagine que l'excuse de la covid va encore revenir.

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