Tuesday, November 28, 2006

local flavour goes sour

photo: mccord museum, parc lafontaine, c 1910

something smells sour in my city today.

for the past while a battle has been going on in montreal to save the name of one of the names of our streets which is rich in history and a landmark of the immigrant experience. a street where everything and anything could be found. this is Park Avenue, or as it called here Avenue du Parc. many a jewish family, amongst the other numerous different immigrant groups, grew up either on, or around, this street. this is where they got their start, had their businesses and made a life for future generations.

photo: parc & pine avenue; bilan.usherbrooke.ca

it has been announced today that the battle to save the name of this historic street was lost. i cannot help but say, i am really pissed about this — as are many others.

it's new name? robert bourassa avenue after the now deceased premier of the province of quebec.


while it may sound trivial to some, it is a big deal to many montrealers. it is a loss of history and yet another political move of the 101 plan.

i doubt it's over, monsieur mayor tremblay. unfortunately, you didn't listen to all the voices.

to see photos of this great street, take a look at this site.


beenzzz said...

Why? Why did they change the name to robert bourassa avenue? What's the point of changing the name? The old name had such historical significance and they changed it? I would be pissed too!

burekaboy — said...

there have been stories that it was partly $$ motivated but basically it's to honour a former premier of our province. MANY people feel they were not part of the process and it was left to a only a few people to vote and seal the deal, so to speak. i cannot stand when they do things like this. can you see, for example, hollywood blvd or madison avenue in new york city being changed? it's stupid to take a main and significant street like this and "just" change it. but i am one voice amongst many differing opinions. some welcome the change.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't sound trivial, I'd be pissed too! That street is Park Avenue in your memories and the memories of so many others, it's tied to emotions and family history. Who the heck is this new guy they named the street after anyways? If he's alive and let that sort of thing go through despite people's feelings then that just sucks. :(

Ari (Baking and Books)

burekaboy — said...

hey ari - i put in a link to explain who he was. i typed the post quickly and forgot to add it when i was writing. anyway, he was one of our provinces premiers. a significant part of the problem was that this plan to change the name was supposedly cooked up [in secret probably to avoid opposition] by the mayor and several others and just sprung upon everyone one day that they were going ahead with it. that caused a lot of outrage, understandably. and as i mentioned in my previous comment, can you imagine a major street in new york city suddenly "just" being changed?!!? lol, i doubt that one.