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2006 05 20
Discovered on a leisurely bicycle ride through Point Saint Charles one Friday evening
By Felicity Tayler

Part 1


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Point Saint Charles, one of the first industrial slums of Canada, is part way through a process of gentrification. The origins of the industrial neighbourhood in 19th century unsanitary housing conditions contributed to a higher rate of mortality in Montréal than either New York or Toronto. Fast-forward to the present and the Point (as part of the Arrondissement Sud-Ouest) is the third poorest area of Montréal.

A historical demographic mix of Irish, English, Scottish, French-Canadian, Ukrainians, and Polish immigrants built the Point into a neighbourhood of strong working-class communities. The Catholic, Anglican and Baptist churches in the area served as focal points for these communities. Though much has changed in the Point in over a century, the solidarity and strength of the community remains. The recent defeat of a proposed project to move the Casino (along with anticipated crime and gambling addiction) into the neighbourhood proves the long time residents of the Point are a force to be reckoned with.

Easter is a controversial Christian holy day. It is either considered the most holy of Christian observances (the death and resurrection of Christ following his crucifixion), or a reprehensible reversion to pagan traditions (the worship of the Teutonic goddess of fertility Eostre, aka Ashtar or Ishtar in Babylonian). Either way, the celebration has taken a back seat to Christmas as holidays have become more secular traditions – foregoing one mixed Christian/pagan tradition for another. This is most likely because the commercial opportunities of Easter place it at a distant second to Christmas.
[email this story] Posted by Alexandra McIntosh on 05/20 at 03:26 PM

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