Sunday, September 11, 2011

Post-vernissage doings

Since our very fun vernissage, we have picked up on a number of great suggestions from visitors to the show about who to contact about Parc Gallery. Special thanks to Roshi Chadha for suggesting some high-profile figures in the Montréal political scene, including renowned astronaut, politician and dog-lover, Marc Garneau. Mr Garneau and five others will receive detailed packages this week. Other suggestions are most welcome.

We also have confirmed a meeting day with MP Tyrone Benskin, for the middle of October. Our exhibition is slated to come down on September 16th, but perhaps - if regular park users agree, and if the photographs hold up in the sun and rain - it should be extended to accommodate his schedule.

We've also followed up Dr Loren Lerner's excellent advice to seek legal counsel. Our preliminary steps confirm that legal advice is very important. We have a lead for some possible pro bono services, but would suggest that anyone in the Parc Gallery community who has a friend or family member who knows something about Montreal's civil law should ask for help! It would be really useful to be able to present a clear legal picture of the situation to MP Benskin in October.

In a nutshell: the park was understood as such according to the 1947 Land Use Map of Montreal - an important civic and legal document. But in the rezoning of Griffintown as "light industrial" in the early 1970s, this status for the park may have changed. It certainly is not shown as a park on any of the city's current planning documents - quite the opposite, in fact; it is shown as a space to be developed. So even though it is an official "aire d'exercise canin" and is maintained by city workers, this is no guarantee that it will not be developed. Lawyers! Your help to protect this wonderful space is needed.

And they say this isn't a park?

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