Today’s walk with Elliot

Sorry no pictures to share.  Today, it was time to spoil my dog Elliot with a long walk so off we went without a plan (and decidedly no camera this time).  First I went east to Hochelaga, through Préfontaine park and then down the streets towards St-Catherine St.  What I noticed is how amazing the architecture is in this area as you go further south.  It’s actually akin to what you would find closer to downtown.  I don’t know why this area gets a bad rap or has fallen into poverty but one thing is for sure it has nothing to do with the architecture.  Maybe the fact that it’s far away from a Metro station could be a reason.  Maybe it’s the fact that the Notre Dame St. parkway and industry along the river cut like a knife and made the area less interesting (and populated) over time.  I don’t know.

Once Elliot and I got to Notre-Dame St., we started walking back west along the parkland/bike path they have there back towards Sainte-Marie through an industrial wasteland and towards the area where I took the picture for this very website.  It’s a lot snowier now though.  We then continued west on Sainte-Catherine and I decided to walk towards the Jacques-Cartier Bridge. This part of Sainte-Catherine is also so full of hidden architectural treasures but it’s just lost its luster and foot traffic over the years.  Again, I don’t know why but my guess here is definitely the expropriated land that created the Notre-Dame parkway (Quick aside: new condos everywhere throughout my entire walk, some fit and some don’t).  Anyhow, as I passed under the bridge I marveled at the cement pillars above me.  The Jacques-Cartier bridge (the main photo of this blog) is really majestic.  Meanwhile, I looked at the third curve of the bridge which helped avoid expropriating the former Soap factory (1600 De Lorimier).  The question I have is how this one factory managed to avoid being expropriated when everyone else lost their land.  I still don’t know that answer (nor is that answer in my Centre-Sud factories history book).  Anyhow, as the Jacques-Cartier bridge was behind me, I started going into the very eastern end of the Gay Village and then that’s when I realized a very small bit of the Village is actually in Sainte-Marie from a technical standpoint (Sainte-Marie extends to Champlain St. at the municipal level but Papineau St. and the Jacques Cartier bridge is probably a more natural divider).  Although as soon as you go past the bridge, you do realize it’s a separate neighborhood with a completely different feel.  Anyhow, I walked up Champlain St. as my walk was starting to be quite long and then I headed towards Parc des Royaux’s dog park.

There I ran into fellow dog owners/neighbours Stacy (who wrote a piece on the dog park last month) and Alain (who sometimes helps me out with house jobs I can’t do myself).  Elliot was happy to be there so we stayed for a good half hour if not a bit longer.  I knew if I stayed outside any longer the coffee urine would come to haunt me so I started making my way back home but I took a slight detour back up to Hochelaga St. to see the unmarked park at the corner of Messier/Hochelaga (this park needs a name, a bench and a little love), then back east on Hochelaga, diagonally through Mederic-Martin park (another park that needs a little love) and then back home.  All in all, Elliot and I were outside for a good 2.5 hours, if not more.  Needless to say, I had a nice nap in the afternoon.

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