Citizens’ voices were raised after the closure of the Sauligni Community Garden in Mercier-Hochelaga-Mysannyev due to the construction of a real estate project. With the support of the Opposition Adviser, they stated that access to some part of the Garden could be maintained despite the construction site.
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“If the mayor had held a public consultation before closing the garden, he would have seen that many of us would find it difficult to get around,” said Franz Charnex, a resident of the area.
Former President of Souligni Community Garden, Mr. Charneux searched that the city had acted without considering the will of the population, by completely closing access to the site by June 13th. “The reality is, it seems to have worked for them, because when I tried to bring this issue to them, I was told there was already a waiting list. [le jardin communautaire] Clement-Jette ”, he lamented.
This other park nearby is difficult to access for many residents suffering from disabilities or other health problems, Mr. According to Charneux. It was a vast real estate project located in the former Honoré-Beaugrand Road Yard, which had to close the Souligny Garden. The developer plans to build about 300 housing units there.
Nearly two years ago, at the end of 2020, the city said it had informed residents they had to find a new location.
Citizens and Tétreaultville Councilor Julien Hénault-Ratelle, however, denied that nearly thirty gardens – “under the shelter of the construction site” – were closed when they were opened to the public with full security. Furthermore, the elected official criticized that “this park is in one of the districts of the borough where the food requirements are very clear.”
“With inflation and the years of waiting to find a place in the community garden in Montreal, it does not make sense to wall-to-wall close this space, which makes a real difference to many families living in low-rent homes,” he adds, calling for real consultation.
Mr. Hénault-Ratelle also complained that no post-construction project was provided to the residents because the work had to continue for at least three years. The petition, signed by 160 people, is to be submitted by Mr. Charnex at the next Borough Council meeting on July 4.
In the borough mayor’s office, it was reiterated that the project had already been approved before the Montreal Public Consultation Office (OCPM). “Everyone who qualifies for the Sauligni Garden has been relocated to the Clement-Jet Garden with a new location,” said Sauligni Garden, a press officer Larry Chair attesting.
The borough says nearly twenty of the 125 gardens are already “contaminated” and none of them have universal access like the Clement-Jet Garden, which has 147 healthy gardens.
“Housing construction takes place in several stages, so instead of evacuating people in hasty and unorganized situations, the borough felt it was more responsible to make sure there was another place without closure and disruption of service,” M emphasized.Me Chair.
Gardens in demand
Especially since the COVID-19 epidemic, the craze for urban gardening is very strong right now. Last April, the company Angus Reed showed in a survey that more than 1 million Canadian families want to learn gardening by 2022, which was added to the gardener who changed during and before the epidemic.
But there is another side to the coin. In May, Radio-Canada revealed that the expectation for a place in the Community Garden in Montreal was growing. In very dense sectors like Côte-des-Neiges – Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, you have to wait between six and ten years to get a place. In the Ditto Plateau Mont-Royal (seven to ten years old) or in Verdun (three or four years old). Further north, the situation is more tolerable; You have to wait one to three years in Ahuntsic-Cartierville.
“While food insecurity is a strong argument for people to grow their food at home by 2020, this observation has partially redirected to concerns about food affordability and freshness,” he explained in April. Sylvain Charlebois, director of the Agrifood Analytical Sciences Laboratory.