Robert Bourassa Is Stealing My Street

I’ll be honest: I hate the sound of Robert Bourassa Avenue. Especially when I face the prospect of living on said avenue. You see, this month is the tenth anniversary of the death of Robert Bourassa, a famously paranoid and tempermental Quebec politician who served as premier from 1970 to 1976 and 1985 to 1994. A new statue has been unveiled in Quebec City, but since Bourassa was one of the few provincial premiers who was a born-and-raised Montrealer — and who represented a Montreal riding for his entire political life — all eyes are on Montreal to commemorate him with something big and noteworthy. Like a major street. A major street around the Plateau Mont-Royal, the densely-populated district from which he hailed. A major street like Park Avenue, my home.


Actually, Park Avenue is only the Bourassa crowd’s second choice. The late premier’s wife originally wanted to rechristen St. Joseph Boulevard, an east-west artery that cuts through the entire Plateau, close to where Bourassa grew up, but residents and the local Member of the National Assembly, Daniel Turp, protested. St. Joseph’s name is too culturally significant, they argued, since it figures prominently in many of Michel Tremblay‘s novels and plays. (The fact that Bourassa was a prominent federalist and many eastern Plateau residents, including Daniel Turp, are die-hard sovereigntists, surely didn’t have anything to do with it.) The argument, as tenuous as it may be, stuck — Tremblay is a household name in Quebec and his work is found on every grade school curriculum — so a replacement street was found. For Bourassa’s wife and the bureaucrats at City Hall, the only acceptable alternative was Park Avenue, a major north-south artery that skirts Mount Royal and heads straight through the heart of Mile End, a cosmopolitan neighbourhood northwest of the Plateau.

The problem with this is that the same argument against renaming St. Joseph holds against renaming Park, which gets its name from not just any park, but the park: Mount Royal Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, North America’s most illustrious landscape architect. Since its construction in the late nineteenth century, Park Avenue became the main street of the quickly-developing Mile End, a neighbourhood rich in immigrants. Over the past fifty years, Park has served as the cultural heart for many communities, especially Greek and Hassidic Jewish. It has also figured prominently in local literature: it has featured in the works of Mordecai Richler, Mary Soderstrom, Dany Laferrière and Trevor Ferguson. It even had a cameo in a Rufus Wainwright song: “The day Noah’s Ark floats down Park,” he crooned, “my eyes will simply glaze over.”

There isn’t much logic in renaming Park after Robert Bourassa. St. Joseph Boulevard was his childhood home and it is identified mostly with the neighbourhood where he grew up, the eastern Plateau (Micheltremblayland). Park Avenue, on the other hand, has had nothing to do with Bourassa. He never lived there, he never spoke for its cultural communities and he never represented it in Quebec City (most of Bourassa’s time in office was spent as the MNA for Mercier, in the east end of Montreal). Mayor Gérald Tremblay’s announcement today that he also wants to rename Bleury Street, which leads from Park Avenue to Old Montreal, complicates things even further. Wasn’t the whole point to give Bourassa a street on the Plateau? Bleury Street is downtown! So why not rename some other downtown street? Or better yet, a street in Mercier?

That said, there is a more profound question at play here: should we even be renaming our streets at all? Street names — especially the names of major arteries in central districts — are etched into our cultural and geographic consciousness. Park Avenue has always been known as Park Avenue; Montrealers have had more than a century to get to know it. People, relationships and communities have all grown, thrived and died on Park Avenue. Renaming it is tantamount to giving it a number: it is disorienting and alienating. Some might say that Park Avenue is a generic name to begin with, but they would be missing the point. Many other Montreal streets are named after Catholic saints or local geographic landmarks — Ste. Catherine, Mountain, St. Denis and St. Laurent are hardly original names — but they are nonetheless an indelible part of our local identity. They are part of Montreal’s economic, social, cultural and literary history, not to mention the personal histories of each and every Montrealer.

Besides, what kind of precedent will this set for Montreal? Dorchester Boulevard was already renamed after René Lévesque in 1986. Does every dead premier get his own street? When Jacques Parizeau and Lucien Bouchard die, will they get dibs on Sherbrooke and Côte-des-Neiges? Will the street names that define Montreal fall to an army of dead politicians, rising from their graves like lawmaking zombies? Surely there is a better way to commemorate our political leaders than to paste their names onto streets that had perfectly good ones to begin with. If we’re going to remember Robert Bourassa, why not go all out? Why not create a beautiful square out of the many parking lots that litter Montreal? One friend suggested a park with an elaborate fountain shaped like a hydroelectric dam. Now there’s an idea.

Luckily, there is still time. This is fresh news and people are still absorbing it. Maybe there will be an outcry, although the notorious lack of transparency in Montreal’s municipal government means that the street could be renamed without any public consultation whatsoever. Some news reports are already suggesting that the name change is a fait accompli. That would be a shame. I, for one, am not looking forward to a day when I step outside onto the sidewalk of Robert Bourassa Avenue.

To see photos of Park Avenue, check out the “parkavenue” and “avenueduparc” tags on Flickr — or click here.

This entry was written by Christopher DeWolf , posted on Wednesday October 18 2006at 11:10 pm , filed under Canada, Heritage and Preservation, Politics, Society and Culture and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

33 Responses to “Robert Bourassa Is Stealing My Street”

  • Christopher Szabla says:

    Is it at all necessary to do an official renaming? Streets in New York typically have some secondary name to commemorate one figure or another. Even the completely renamed Harlem avenues are referred to by number in the vernacular.

  • Christopher DeWolf says:

    That would be a nice solution. It’s common in many places — Boston has all of those intersections named after people, Calgary has street signs that reveal the street’s original name below the official number — but I don’t think Quebec’s toponomy commission would allow it. There are strict rules with regards to renaming and I’m sure two official names are not allowed to exist. The provincial government even refused to recognize Trudeau Airport’s new name because of some technicality; it kept calling it Dorval for a good year after it was renamed.

  • AJ says:

    In this day and age, surely they could rename a school, a park, or create a great public space dedicated to the man, but you don’t go messing with one of the key axes of the city. I don’t count the renaming-Dorchester thing as part of that, as the original Dorchester was a narrower residential street until its expansion into the current canyon of office towers in the 1960s. However, it might also be mentioned that Mountain doesn’t refer to _the_ mountain but rather to a person, _Bishop_ Mountain, which of course the Toponymy Czars duly mistranslated as “de la Montagne.” Do we really want to leave Park Avenue in the hands of these overzealous bureaucrats? Where’s the e-petition?

  • Christopher DeWolf says:

    I just sent a letter to the Mile End city councillor, Eleni Fakotakis, and the mayor of the Plateau, Helen Fotopulos. (Last time I sent an email to Fotopulos she phoned me back to talk things over.)

    What I find absolutely galling about this whole issue is how the powers-that-be have seen fit to go ahead and rename the street (the media are saying that the excutive council has approved the name change, and it must now go through city council) without any public consultation. It’s amazing, really — first we hear that so-and-so would like the city to rename St. Joseph or maybe Park Avenue. Now, a couple of weeks later, it’s all over the news that the renaming is all but assured. Where the hell is the public consultation? As a resident of Park Avenue, don’t I get a say?

    It’s incredible that a developer who wants to build a condo tower 5 metres taller than the height limit has to go through a whole public consultation and referendum process, but the city can simply rename a major street by fiat.

  • Christopher DeWolf says:

    Here’s what the Gazette had to say about this today:

    Park Avenue is doomed. With an arrogance better suited to Pyongyang than to Montreal, Mayor Gerald Tremblay’s administration has decided to abolish a name known to and beloved by generations of Montrealers, in order to re-name the street for Robert Bourassa.

    City council must still approve this bit of historical vandalism, but that body is little more than a rubber stamp, so the damage seems to be done, even if many Montrealers now speak up forcefully against this abrupt change of a revered name.

    The 80 bus will now run along Robert Bourassa Ave. We’ll watch art films at the Cinema du Bourassa. Perhaps Park Ex will be renamed Bob Ex. Elsewhere on this page our cartoonist Aislin suggests another change. Tourist drivers will confuse Robert Bourassa with Henri Bourassa. A colourful district with a distinct character becomes a little more generic. Many Montrealers with Greek or Jewish roots are in this small measure alienated from their background. Hundreds of merchants will have to redo their business forms.

    It’s fine to commemorate Bourassa, Quebec’s premier from 1970 to 1976, and again from 1985 to 1994. (Given the man’s fully developed attachment to procrastination in politics, the newly named street might have only red and yellow lights, someone suggested yesterday.) And there is a certain perverse charm to the idea that Robert Bourassa Ave. will now cross Rene Levesque Blvd. (since Bleury St., too, will vanish in this change).

    But is it really essential that Montreal abandon a street name rich in historical lore and charm in order to honour someone who was premier of Quebec, not mayor of Montreal? Perhaps the Grande Allee in Quebec City would be more suitable.

    The Bourassa family is said to have been eager to see his name on some or all of St. Joseph Blvd., in the neighbourhood where young Robert grew up. But we ask why we must re-name anything. New public buildings go up with reasonable frequency in Montreal. Some existing squares doubtless need naming. How about a nice stretch of autoroute?

    There’s a broader issue here, too. A city is the sum of its history and is built not by politicians but by the people who elect them. If plumbers, say, controlled street names, there might be lots of streets named after plumbers. But since politicians have this power, we are burdened with bridges, streets and buildings named after long-forgotten baby-kissers. There’s an unpleasantly egotistical overtone to this. Did our Dear Leader wipe Park Ave. off the map in furtive haste in fond anticipation of a Gerald Tremblay Blvd. someday?

    The mayor and his accomplices in yesterday’s heist of heritage plainly need to be reminded that they do not own the city; they merely operate it for its people. What gave the executive committee the idea that it would be acceptable to make such a drastic move with zero public consultation? If La Presse’s report is correct, Tremblay and his people have been thinking about this idea for some time, but have carefully kept the idea secret. What could justify that?

    There’s only one thing to do if city council shows no backbone: ignore the change, and keep speaking of Park Ave. Eventually this administration, or the next one, will reverse this appalling decision. Save Park Avenue!

  • mike says:

    I don`t want to sound insensitive to you but I support the change.

    Robert Bourassa, like him or not, was an important person.

    I support having a major axis to be named after him. Might as well be Park Avenue rather than a street named after a person who then has to have the indignity of losing his name to make way for another.

    This street will intersect with René Lévesque who is another giant of Quebec politics the pas 30 years.

    Besides, it is just a name.

  • Patrick Donovan says:

    Can’t help but agree that we shouldn’t rename all major arteries for dead politicians. Why is it that the fetish for saints has been replaced by a fetish for politicians? Why do dead bureaucrats always get the best streets? Why not poets, musicians, writers, scientists–people with ideas rather than bland power-driven figureheads?

    (Oh, and one last thing: Don’t mess with the Grande Allée!)

  • Christopher DeWolf says:

    Mike, no offense taken. I do think that it is more than “just a name” however — street names are part of a city’s heritage. But more importantly, I think renaming a street that already has a great name with lots of history is totally unimaginative. As I mentioned, why not take the tens of thousands of dollars it will take to rename Park and invest it in a new park or square? There are some parking lots I can think of that would make lovely plazas.

    Patrick, I agree completely. It’s a question of power. Back in the day, the Catholic Church held sway over politicians and most of the populace. Not only that, but it was a major landowner. Since the 1960s the cult of religion has been replaced by the cult of politics. Everything in Quebec is political because so much of this province’s identity is tied with the state: Hydro-Quebec, sovereignty and constitutional issues, arts and culture, etc. That’s why every provincially-funded cultural project proposed in Montreal, such as the MSO symphony hall, somehow includes gargantuan amounts of government office space.

    Most importantly, though, it’s politicians who are the ones in charge of naming things, so they naturally like to dot the landscape with the names of their fellow politicians. Gérald Tremblay was a friend and colleague of Robert Bourassa and I doubt he would be half as gung-ho about finding a street for any other dead premier. I mean, it was the 50th anniversary of Adélard Godbout’s death last month and nobody was falling over themselves in a rush to name a bridge or highway after him.

    As it stands, in Montreal there are only two worthwhile public spaces named after prominent artists: Place Jean-Paul Riopelle, created in 2003, and Place Gérald-Godin, created in the late nineties. (Even then, Godin was also a politician — go figure.) Everything else is disgraceful: Gabrielle Roy has a glorified bus stop named after her and Paul-Émile Borduas got an alleyway, just for example. And of course anglophone and minority artists are almost never recognized. There will never be anything named for Mordecai Richler, Irving Layton gets a street in ultra-Jewish Côte St. Luc but nothing else and the bureaucrats who run Montreal have probably never even heard of A.M. Klein.

  • aj says:

    Hm, Chris, in your last paragraph you’re sounding a little Wong-ish ;) Though there’s more that a grain of truth there; I think one of the official functions of the Quebec toponomy commission, if not the city version, is to find ways to erase history by renaming things and places. But you know, Stalingrad eventually reverted to Volgograd…it can work both ways if you wait long enough.

    This sounds almost like a cover story for something else. A manufactured scandal to distract from some report that will be released today – the typical, slip-it-under-the-weekend-radar move. Keep your eyes open…

    In any case, if we all refuse to honour the name then what can the city do? If all those businesses and individuals just decide en masse not to change their stationery or their websites, will the street name really exist? (And if we can continually re-edit any reference to it on Wikipedia?)

    And yes, the potential confusion with Bourassa pére is another issue our city mandarins didn’t think about.

  • aj says:

    oops, not pére — I was thinking of the Johnsons (Daniel Sr. and Jr!)

  • mtl3p says:

    thanks for the post and hosting the discussion.

    I respect your points except for “. Renaming it is tantamount to giving it a number: it is disorienting and alienating.”

    Yes, it may be disorienting and alienating (to a certain population – it may be welcoming and respectful of other populations) but it is *not* like giving it a number. Giving it a number is not about the cultural appropriation and wrestling that goes on year by year, decade by decade, century upon century. I’m not sure if I agree that it should be renamed, but I’m definitely glad that they’re naming it after and person important to the larger montreal and quebec community, and not as a number.

    mike lencnzner

  • Seb says:

    He’s also stealing my street…

    That why I started this petition:
    http://causes.ca/duparc

    Come to sign it and spread the word!

  • Hugo says:

    Hello,

    I am not sure of how pertinent a popular vote would be. How many Park current residents have been living there for more than 5 years? Wouldn’t you be leaving after graduation if you are student? Considering Park is more than the 4 blocks that make up Mile-End what do the people north of VanHorne think?

    I am more for the name change than against it. How many people are actual long-time residents of this street? If anything, their opinions should be considered. But I doubt it is a high number.

    Plus, comparing Tremblay to the Korean dictator is nasty. It embarassingly taints the genuine concern against the name change.

    Also, I don’t believe anyone is ‘afraid’ or apprehends the renaming of Cinema Du Parc to Cinema Du Bourassa. I am not sure if it’s supposed to be funny.

  • Christopher DeWolf says:

    Hugo, thanks for your comment. I’m sure “Bob Ex” and “Cinéma du Bourassa” were jokes on the part of the Gazette editors.

    I don’t think that most Park Avenue residents are students or transient. There are many people who have lived on this street and in the neighbourhoods around it for decades — I once met a woman who had lived at the corner of Park and Bernard for 40 years! Don’t forget all of the business owners, many of whom grew up on Park Avenue, even if they don’t live here anymore.

    But Park Avenue is more than just the sum of its residents. The larger issue here is that of the cultural and histrical relevance of this street to Montreal. Park Avenue is named after not just any park, but the park: Mount Royal. It predates the existence of Mile End, Outremont and Park Extension — these neighbourhoods grew up around it. It’s the main street for Outremont and Mile End — 40,000 people — on which people meet and do their everyday shopping. Generations of Montrealers have lived on this street and it has special significance for Greek Montrealers, for whom Park is a symbol of their history in Montreal.

    Incidentally, I’m not sure I understand your point about Mile End’s four blocks (seven, actually, and they’re long blocks!). Only a handful of people live on Park Avenue north of Van Horne — it’s industrial — although the street does give its name to Park Extension. The reason I focus on Mile End is because Park Avenue is more important to its identity than to any other neighbourhood.

  • Christopher DeWolf says:

    One more thing, Hugo: forget all the reasons why Park should or shouldn’t be renamed. Doesn’t the fact that Tremblay and his executive council made this decision in secret, without any public consultation, make you a little uneasy? Honestly, if most Montrealers want Park Avenue to be renamed, so be it — but it is completely unacceptable for the mayor to make a decision on his own without consulting his consituents or even his own councillors first.

  • Hugo says:

    Well yes, it’s sneaky. So I think some kind of vote should be held. Then we’ll see how many people really have it at heart to preserve the name.

  • Christopher DeWolf says:

    Agreed!

  • Nikolaos Karabineris says:

    SAVE PARK AVENUE

    It was with great sorrow and a heavy heart that I heard the news from the dictatorship at Montreal City Hall. They have taken upon themselves, without any public consultation to change the name of my beloved Park Avenue to Robert Bourassa Ave. Mayor Tremblay and his puppets secretly planed to impose the will of a political party’s French majority onto the most culturally diverse street in the heart of a great city. Going against the vast majority of Park Avenue’s residents and business owner’s. Opposing the wishes of Bourassa’s family to rename St. Joseph Blvd., where Bourassa grew up, claiming it would bring opposition from the Catholic Church. Ignorant to the fact that a short block away Laurier Ave. was renamed from St. Louis Ave. in 1899, a time when the Catholic Church was at the height of it’s power.Stop the injustice and lend your support.

    I call upon all the citizens of Montreal to rise up and ensure that Park Avenue will live on forever!

    Nikolaos Karabineris
    Park Avenue Resident

  • Nikolaos Karabineris says:

    I would like everyone to know that I live and own a home on Park Avenue on top of which I fly a Greek flag in honour of my late father. Park Avenue welcomed my father and many other Greeks and afforded them an occasion to lay down roots and gave them an opportunity make a new life and a chance to start their first business,as I’m sure most of you are well aware. Park Avenue has rich and historical traditions, it is a melting pot that unities, City Hall’s decision to obliterate it will bring about a great divide. Bourassa has no place on Park Avenue, you might say that that not everyone who lives or works on Park is against the idea. I would be willing to wager that those in favour are overwhelmingly in the minority. I would recommend you read Josh Freed’s Column in the Gazette. I quote ” Park Avenue is a heritage zone and who ever destroys it will be remembered and resented for a very long time” I call upon everyone to publically state their position on the issue, whether you are in favour or not. I learned right from wrong early on in life. City Hall’s approch to this whole ordeal is just plain wrong, I believe we all can make a differance, Saving Park Avenue is a just and noble cause.

  • Nikolaos Karabineris says:

    SAVE PARK AVENUE

    Please show your support by emailing City Hall.

    Maire : geraldtremblay@ville.montreal.qc.ca

    Comité exécutif : adesousa@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; andrelavallee@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; benoitlabonte@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; mabeaudoin@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; sforcillo@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; cdauphin@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; cmaciocia@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; fzampino@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; hfotopulos@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; fsenecal@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; marcelgtremblay@ville.montreal.qc.ca ;

    Conseillers : jacquelinemontpetit@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; mbarbe@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; mparent@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; mapplebaum@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; isabeldossantos@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; richardbbergeron@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; mworth@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; richardbelanger@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; sharbour@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; andresavard@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; blanchetb@lachine.ca ; joseeduplessis@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; helen.fakotakis@sympatico.ca ; everge@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; jfcloutier@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; joseelavigueurtheriault@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; marc.touchette@verdun.ca ; mbattista@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; mcohen@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; normand_fortin@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; pbeaupre@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; pierreefrechette@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; rzambito@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; rogertrottier@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; alaintasse@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; bward@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; caroledusault@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; catherinesevigny@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; christiangdubois@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; dperri@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; michellabrecque@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; ggrondinrosemont@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; gmarotte@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; jinfantino@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; cowellpoitrasj@lachine.ca ; jfstonge@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; jacampbell@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; mbarbe@ville.lasalle.qc.ca ; marcelmparent@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; mrotrand@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; mapplebaum@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; mworth@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; mprescott@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; patriciabittar@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; plapointe@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; richardbelanger@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; richarddeschamps@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; sorayamartinez@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; slachance@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; warrenallmand@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; ybissonnet@ville.montreal.qc.ca ; ctrudel@ville.montreal.qc.ca

  • Carlo Rizzi says:

    Come to our site, http://www.geocities.com/helpsaveparc
    We will post futher actions that will be taking place to fight tremblay. We organized a successful rally today and more actions will take place in the future.
    Send us an email at helpsaveparc@yahoo.com if you’d like to help in any capacity.

  • Nikolaos Karabineris says:

    FOTOPULOS IS A SELLOUT!!!

    She’s turned her back on the neighbourhood where she grew up in, the day she got elected. It is apparent that she places the security of her job and her standing in the executive committee above the interest of her constituents. Fotopoulos is the MAYOR’S PUPPET, instead of being the voice of the people she has become a selfish, unapproachable autocrat who has lost her way. The only name she should be changing is her own, to Helen Puppetopulos. Come next election, let’s all cut her strings and send her back where she belongs.

  • hughes says:

    glad to see there are some URLs where people can voice opposition. I emailed fotopolus, tremblay and kolaitis and some others about it.

    to change or not to change is not so much the issue, rather, how it was done: no public consultation. shocking.

  • Greg Tutko says:

    It is totaly unacceptable that the city elected crowd think they can get away with this travesty of name changing without a fight. I am angry that our city is governed by a gang of turncoats, former RCMers and others, who forget they get paid from our taxes. They just raised the taxes on every resident of Parc Ave., with no consultation, because every one will be required to spend time and money (in the case of businesses, lots) to inform all their contacts, government agencies, banking institutions et al., that their street no longer is the one they thought they were on. Wonderful, Mr. Tremblay. Now we know where you stand. Next Election we will throw you out of City Hall and take back OUR city and our Parc Ave. It doesn’t take a crystal ball to see the City/Provincial Liberal party connection. Tremblay was one of Boubou’s cabinet flunkies. Elections are coming. We will remember. Unless you missed it, Parc was named not for a political zombie, but for the very thing we are most identified with–the park on Mount Royal. Maybe we should change the name of the city while we are at it…to Tremblayville. Pardon me while I retch.

  • Nikolaos Karabineris says:

    Save Park Avenue / Sauvons l’avenue du parc
    General meeting open to all concerned / Regroupement General Ouvert a tous
    Mardi/Tuesday
    24 Octobre
    18h / 6pm

    5220 Ave du Parc / 5220 Park Avenue

    Venez en grand Nombre
    Be heard load and clear

  • bruceeverest says:

    It is totally unacceptable that Mayor Tremblay has not consulted the people. Does anybody think that New Yorkers under ANY circumstances would change the na

    me of their beloved Park Ave., I think NOT. Do NOT change the name of PARK AVE. Tremblay you have lost my vote.
    Bruce Everest

  • Jimmy Zoubris says:

    Although it is not a done deal, if the mayor sticks to his guns, it will pass.
    There is a political price to pay….Tremblays’ way of thinking has rendered our local borough politicians useless…he has muzzled his caucus and has put a bureaucrat in city hall to answer any questions.
    Is this what he meant when he said that he would make the new city work. Local autonomy would be protected. Our new city would be more efficient,…less councillors, more power to the boroughs.
    You know, I don’t want to believe it, and I hate writing it down, but maybe Westmount was write.
    This Mayor is invoking his own type of Drapeau style politics to City Hall, except he is no Drapeau, ….love him or hate him, Drapeau put Montreal on the map, and we knew exactly what we were getting every election,….with Dore, Bourque and now Tremblay, it really is a guessing game, …usually we vote for the lesser of two evils.

  • Nikolaos Karabineris says:

    Demonstration at City Hall, Monday at 7:00 p.m

    Demonstration:
    Lundi / Monday 30 Octobre,
    19h – 7 p.m
    Hôtel de ville / City Hall
    275, rue Notre-Dame Est
    Montréal (Québec)

  • M-J Milloy says:

    If the city really wanted to honour Bou-bou, they’d allow hot dog carts.

  • Evan says:

    Montréal in general seems unusually eager to rename major streets and landmarks wholesale–boulevard René-Lévesque, aéroport Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau, parc Jean-Drapeau. The city should just follow the lead of my home Chicago and slap a brown “HONORARY STREET NAME” sign under the avenue du Parc signs. Everyone will continue to call the street Park, Bourassa will get his due, and it’s a win-win. Chicago has only changed the name of a major street three times, and all three have been deservedly significant (Crawford–>Pulaski in 1938, Grand Blvd–>King Drive in 1972, 22nd Street–>Cermak Road in 1934), rather than giving a major street to every premier in Québec’s history.

  • Stephanie says:

    If you are opposed to the name change.. do what i have been doing.. sign the petition and get everyone u know to sign it.. here is the link

    and i have sent an e-mail expressing my opions to well everyone who works for the city.. i strongly urge u to do the same

    Help us save Parc Avenue, which will be, without any public consultation, renamed Robert-Bourassa Avenue. Sign the petition:
    http://causes.ca/duparc

  • Nikolaos Karabineris says:

    “Save Park Avenue” protest

    **City Hall Montreal, November 27th 2006**
    Shuttle service to and from City Hall

    Merchants and concerned citizens are sponsoring buses for the “Save Park
    Avenue” protest at Montreal city council meeting on Monday. The free bus
    rides are available to all who wish to participate in the protest outside of
    City Hall beginning at 6:15pm. They will be departing from the following
    locations:

    Park Avenue corner St-Joseph
    Park Avenue corner St-Viateur (YMCA)
    Park Avenue corner Bernard (5899 Park Avenue)
    Park-Extension, St-Roch corner Champagneur (Evangelismos Church. 777 St-
    Roch)

    Time of departure : 17h30

    Time of return : 20h30

  • Damaris Rose says:

    Christopher de Wolf’s 18 October posting has very pertinent commentary about the significance of the name Park Avenue for the surrounding multiethnic and cosmopolitan neighbourhood of Mile End. Right now it is important to write letters to the Commission de Toponymie du Québec to explain why this street name has social and cultural significance for residents and for other Montrealers who care about heritage issues. I hope other people will take up the social and cultural history issues in their letters.

    However, Christopher is in error when saying that Robert Bourassa never represented Park Avenue politically. The riding of Mercier, for which he was MNA for a time, used to extend westwards past Park Avenue as far as the Outremount boundary. It is important to be accurate if you want your opposition to be taken seriously by the powers you want to influence. It’s also important to be moderate in tone and to try to create bridges so as to create an united front. There is a place for ranting but not at public meetings or in the media!
    Please write to the Commmission by 8 January 2007. (English is ok if you can’t do it in French):
    Madame Danielle Turcotte
    Directrice et Secrétaire
    Commission de Toponymie du Québec
    750, boulevard Charest Est, rez-de-chaussée
    Québec QC
    G1K 9M1
    Fax : 418 644-9466
    email : danielle.turcotte@gouv.qc.ca