Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Train track land
There's a newly built neighbourhood at the east end of the old Port that you can see from the bridge just east of city hall. Supposedly Celine Dion owns a place down there. That's what they say and no I don't believe it either. Here's a view of the newly-constructed public space that goes along with it. It features decorative (ie: non-functional) train tracks. Presumably this is a wink to some historical fact, perhaps the old Duplessis-era Grande Noirceur trains carrying young franco virgins from the countryside for anglo sacrifice ended here. We called the venerable Coolopolis founder at the golden age home to ask if he could remember but a strange, husky-voiced woman replied and started asking us for "bling and smokes," it all sounded sordid and suspicious.
Here's the answer to this question from JD:
The "nod to some historical fact" would be in acknowledgment of Montreal's oldest standing (former) railway station, the defunct Dalhousie Station (built in 1884), which is the immediate neighbourhood described in this posting. In fact, Dalhousie Station was the point of departure for the Canadian Pacific's first trancontinental train to Vancouver in 1886. There's a plaque on the building attesting to this fact. Alas, the tracks are long gone. I think the building houses a circus school now.
Behind (to the north of) Dalhousie Station, on St. Antoine at Bleury, stands the old Viger Station and Hotel, now a city administration building. The chateau-style structure (circa 1898) conceals the smaller Dalhousie Station, which is not much to see, really, immediately to the south. Here's a link.