Inside Montreal, journalist Louis-Philippe Messier travels mainly on the run, his office in his backpack, looking for fascinating subjects and people. He talks to everyone and is interested in all areas of this town’s history.
More than a hundred meters long and sometimes four meters high, a huge pile of broken branches is placed in La Fontaine Park waiting to be loaded by the city. This mountain of dead wood provides a measure of the massive amount of tree felling caused by the blizzard, slowly picked up by blue-collar workers.
As I walk through the city three weeks later the damage is still intact and I see this trunk of thousands of branches and dozens of “ungrown” trunks of various types that take up almost the entire north side of Calixa-Lavalley Street. storm
“It’s a great big one, but I think there’s still a lot of wood to be collected in the park, and it’s a long way off!” wonders neighborhood resident Claude DuPont as I watch him jogging near the “Himalayas” of Deadwood.
“I’m sad, it shocks me to see such a large amount of pieces of wood, it’s a massacre”, says Audrey Vignis-Olivera, using the wind to find a good stick to throw at her dog Chopin.
As the show was impressive, Yvan Tremblay, a photography enthusiast, came to take some pictures with his camera.
“Trunkers are already busy year-round at normal times, so a disaster like this will give them work until they retire!” A blue-collar worker was met on the spot, breathless by the arduous task of “pulling” large branches not far from Sherbrooke Street, and did not want to give her name.
This professional horticulturist is exceptionally employed in this thankless but necessary task.
“We put the big end of the branches in the path so the chipper can pick them up from the right side,” said the woman, who explained that she had been working without a day off for more than two weeks.
Outremont with “trendy” streets
My route through Outremont surprised me, as my run cleared streets and parks in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve and the city-jardin in Rosemont.
Almost everywhere in front of the magnificent barracks on rue de L’Épée or rue Querbes, tall piles of wood sometimes occupy more than ten meters of parking space… so that there is more “dead wood” than parked cars!
“Is harassing motorists like this part of a traffic reduction strategy?” A local woman wonders.
“People here have garages or lots on their land, but school and daycare workers are in a bad way,” she lamented.
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