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2005 12 11
Lachine Canal Then and Now

By Doug Scholes

Click on the links for panoramic images
Lachine Canal Panorama: 2001
Lachine Canal Panorama: 2005

We moved into this area in 2001 at the time when the neighbourhood of St-Henri was beginning a process of revitalization. Our house faced the “bombed out” buildings of the once vibrant Stelco plant. The buildings were abandoned in the late 70's and had, by 2001, fallen into an irreparable state of use. Existing now only in memory, they were razed in 2003 to make way for a four-phase, 450 unit condo/loft complex complete with 10' ceilings, concrete construction, and large factory-like windows overlooking the Lachine Canal to the south and Mount Royal to the north. These are beautiful buildings and have provided a desirable aesthetic to a neighbourhood that was in a state of visual dysfunction. Their effect on the dynamics of the neighbourhood is easily observed in comparing the cost of the condo/lofts to the rent of the long-term tenants in St-Henri. It is always sad to see an era end and difficult to understand how the changes will be accepted, if at all. In the two panoramic photos, I see the things lost and those gained. With things changing and easily forgotten, the photos provide a way to remember and bring memory to life.
[email this story] Posted by Alexandra McIntosh on 12/11 at 04:55 PM

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