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A ‘Himalayan’ of dead wood has piled up in La Fontaine Park

Within Montreal, journalist Louis-Philippe Messier is essentially traveling on the run, his office in his backpack, searching for fascinating subjects and people. He talks to everyone and cares about every walk of life in this urban history.

More than a hundred meters long and sometimes four meters high, a huge pile of broken branches laid out in La Fontaine Park is waiting to be loaded by the city. This mountain of dead wood makes it possible to measure the sheer volume of tree felling caused by the ice storm that blue-collar workers are slow to pick up.

I see this track of thousands of branches of various kinds and scores of “immature” logs that take up almost the entire northern part of rue Calixa Lavalle as I walk through town to see that the damage has yet to be picked up three weeks after a storm.

Audrey and Chopin

Portrait of Louis Philippe Messier

“It’s big and big, but I feel like there’s still a lot of wood to gather elsewhere in the park and it’s not over yet!” exclaims Claude Dupont, a neighborhood resident who sees me running near the “Himalayas” strewn with dead trees.

“It saddens me to see such a quantity of felling of trees, it is a massacre,” is carried away by Audrey Vignes-Oliviera, who takes advantage of the windfall to find a good stick to throw at her dog Chopin.

As the show is so impressive, Yvonne Tremblay, a photography enthusiast, came to take some pictures with his camera.

cumbersome shears

“Trunkers are already busy all year long in normal times, so a disaster like this will save them work until they retire!” Comments he was immediately met by a blue-collar worker, who had caught her breath from the daunting task of “uprooting” large branches not far from Sherbrooke Street and did not want to name herself.

This professional gardener works, exceptionally well, in this undoubted but necessary task.

“We put the big end of the branches all the way down so that the chopper can take them from the right side,” explains the woman, who says she has been working without leave for more than two weeks.

Outremont with “trendy” streets

While a run in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve and in Cité-Jardin in Rosemont showed me the streets and parks on my way to clearing, my run through Outremont amazed me.

Audrey and Chopin

Portrait of Louis Philippe Messier

Almost everywhere in front of the fine barracks on rue de L’Épée or avenue Querbes, tall piles of wood sometimes occupied more than ten meters of parking spaces…so that there were more ‘deadwoods’ than cars parked!

“Is it part of a traffic reduction strategy to annoy motorists like this?” asks a local woman.

“People here have garages or places on their land, but the school and daycare staff are in bad shape,” she laments.