15 B&W shades of #Montreal
The Island City, Entrance to North-America
The European Island City Entrance to North-America
The good, the bad and the ugly.
This town is alive despite the many attempts to kill it. When you know a little about how heavily mismanaged Montreal has been in the last forty years, and how severely its economy has been strangled many times over as a result, its current vitality speaks lengths about Montrealers. This town’s resilience to never shut down is remarkable. It’s also a great place for urban photography. It offers a full spectrum of cityscapes thanks to high density central districts, rich industrial heritage, and the Mont-Royal, serving as a natural 360º observatory.
Montreal’s strategic position on the Saint-Laurence River, and its highly profitable inland commercial port have served it well. But mostly, its people’s remarkable creativity and faith have made it one of this continent’s most dynamic and interesting towns. Now, let’s hope it can one day be led by leaders with more vision.
The sate of my town
At this moment, Montreal is one of the fastest growing urban agglomerations in North America. More skyscrapers and neighbourhoods are being built and have been built in the last five years than at any moment in this city’s history. And another bunch are being planned as we speak. What this real estate boom will bring to Montrealers remains to be seen. A great deal of it is shaping up in urban sprawl schemes, built outside city limits, in its ever growing suburban crown, whilst hosting economic pressure exhorting infrastructure rehabs that are nothing less than this countries largest construction sites by far inside city walls. Montreal nevertheless holds up a reasonably dynamic economic growth despite yet another strangle. A very good sign in itself.
The infrastructure rehab this town is going through will transform its environment in an unprecedented manner. We need only think of the Bonaventure highway redesign, the new Champlain Bridge (Canada’s longest bridge), the Turcot interchange re-haul, the new CHUM, the new UofM Outremont campus, the new light rail network and so on. This massive urban rehab is unique in Canadian history. As for me, i wish to see a diversified job market immerge as well as affordable housing within central districts. Without this diversification, Montreal will fall victim to real-estate speculation in the same way Toronto and Vancouver have, and it will widen the social and economic gap between the two extremes. That is always a threat to sustainability.
And now what ?
A lot of us are concerned, and with good reason, as to what will come out of Montreal’s big redesign because we love our town and because it is nothing less than a complete make over, even politically to a certain extent. We all hope for the best outcome. We all hope that in the end Montreal will efficiently alieve its motor trafic problems, its endemic family poverty, eradicate corruption at city hall, repair decrepit infrastructures and our ill public transit, and build sustainable. We want deciders to give the city back to us, its residents, the true heart and soul of Montreal. I think that this want is perfectly sound and shared by a great deal of us.
Words & Photography : Eric Soucy / e.soucy.artiste.photographe
All rights reserved fi3200/2017
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P.S.: I am crowdfunding through KickStarter a two part expo for Montreal’s 375th anniverary of foundation. It will be called Autant de Montréalais and i hope to be able to bring it to fruition by August of this year.