The Stadium, the box office and Taylor Swift

When the workers came last Thursday to remove the letters from the name of the credit union in my neighborhood, it was as if a light went out on this nevertheless dynamic stretch of street. In broad daylight, it made a hole. In the evening, it is now dark. A void has set in without apologizing. I can’t even imagine the discomfort felt by Desjardins orphans all over the country.

Allow me to return to my text from last week, “Desjardins and us”. I’ve heard a lot about it. You told me your stories. I take away from this that you are sensitive to the knitting of neighborhoods and villages, and that a bank that closes is not just a service that is leaving: it is a geography that is falling apart. I heard this revealing anecdote: the Caisse abandoned its service counter in the center of a small municipality to set up a counter… on the national road, a few kilometers away, forcing those without a car to look for tickets. lifts, and stripping away another village heart. Dédé Fortin, visionary, sang The main street in 1993. The shopping center was responsible for the misery of the residents. In 2024, it’s the Fund.

Read “Desjardins and us”

At the precise moment when a team was cleaning up the traces of Desjardins on the extinguished storefronts, the organization Cœur de Villes et Villages launched its plan for the vitality of communities. This grouping of heritage and economic associations exists to sound the alarm on the challenges facing city and village centers. His declaration is addressed to those in power in order to determine what is undermining the fabric of our places of life, and to provide lasting and structuring solutions. This document, which summarizes the issues, is remarkable for its eight proposals, including the densification of centers, and by, therefore, “the implementation of an exemplary location strategy for public buildings (CLSC, SAQ, etc.) prioritizing the proximity “.

Consult the Plan for the vitality of city and village hearts

Everything is there, clear and clear. Have you heard of it ? No. The media was very busy with Justin’s populist car theft show, then with the cocktailgate of the caquistes, by Taylor Swift’s jet trips or chicken wing recipes atair fryer for the Super Bowl. Big week.

However, it is essential, because the territory is what unites us, what divides us. If half of the Quebec population is clustered around Montreal, the other half is still well distributed across a territory without common sense.

But Montreal also has its “region”, its unloved: the East. And at its heart, the Olympic Stadium, constantly criticized, of which we will finally redo the roof and the technical ring for 870 million.

The file was led with fervor and competence by the CEO of the Olympic Park, Michel Labrecque. I believe that he and the Minister of Tourism, Caroline Proulx, made a good, mature and thoughtful decision. Decision which, however, aroused anger and perplexity. That of the regions: “Not even capable of demolishing it, like in Vegas where they wipe out two casinos per year for nothing!” “. Right-thinking people: “Think of the social housing that could have been built for 800 million! “. That of half of Montrealers for whom the Stadium is a stigma because of its difficult history.

However, the Stadium is a landmark, an element of Montreal’s identity. We don’t like him, like we don’t like each other…

A new roof will be the start of an upgrade, the key to making it usable, even without a sports team. We even mentioned the presence of Taylor Swift in… 10 years. It is, for the East, at the center of the “heart of the city” discourse, and for Montreal, a symbol.

Montreal and the regions face the same challenges of calling into question their centers. Everything is connected. By isolating ourselves in our parochial, identity and exclusive issues, we lose sight of the whole. This applies to ideas as well as territory.

Just as the regions and what happens there and those who live there should interest us all, Montreal should concern all Quebecers. The metropolis does not exist without the rest of Quebec, and Quebec does not exist without it. When a village loses its school, its fund, its gas station, it’s the beginning of the end. A metropolis that leaves its Olympic Stadium abandoned – or destroys it – would be self-denigrating. We forget ourselves a lot here. We disappear from the radar of our own concerns. What is happening in Saint-Denis-de-Brompton or in eastern Montreal is a mirror of everyone’s future.

It is urgent to take a renewed interest in our territory and its built heritage, its institutions and its gables. All current crises – housing, identity, economic – converge on him. Do we want to reduce it to a stupidly utilitarian space, with its essential services connected by highways, or look further, wider, and “revamp” it with soul and creative solutions? The Olympic Stadium and the village ATM are both strong symbols. What Taylor won’t hang out with, but who cares ?

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