Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hopeful developments

At the Griffintown Selon Vous/Portes Ouvertes event on Jan. 20-21, we had the opportunity to visit a kiosk of the City of Montréal. They had multiple copies of their current planning document for Griffintown, dated 11-12 January, 2012.

We searched it for views of and information about Parc Gallery. And this is what we found:

Look closely and you will see, just south of Ste-Ann's park, a green rectangle - this is our very own Parc Gallery, which has not been noted as a green space on previous planning documents. This is extremely positive! Even better...

If you zoom in you will see a small symbol of a dog on this additional map of Griffintown. This means that, despite the worrying disregard for Parc Gallery's status as a public green space and official aire d'exercise canin, there is some recognition at the City that Parc Gallery is exactly that: a public, green space that serves the dogs of the south-west of Montreal.

The legend proves it! These maps are evidence that, no matter what challenges are ahead of us, there is a clear recognition of the use of this park, today. We can return to these planning documents in the future, if the need arises. Now to protect the park for good!

Great two days: Griffintown selon vous

Hello dpg followers,

We had a wonderful two days at the École de Technologie Supérieure, representing the interests of Parc Gallery to a wide range of politicians, urban planners, artists, community groups, students, current and incoming residents of Griffintown, and the general public. Our kiosk was set up by Claude T. and Isabelle R., who covered it with our photographic portraits of the dogs, taken in 2010, borrowed from the park. We also had copies of our publication, and the all-important petition. Over the two days we collected 100 additional signatures and now have more than 300! A great day.

Isabelle R. explaining the challenges facing the park to visitors to our
kiosk, Saturday, Jan. 21

For sure we had the brightest and most colourful kiosk! We were lucky to be right beside Shauna Janssen + her Urban Occupations Urbaines display - without Shauna we would never have known about Parc Gallery.

Claude, Cynthia and Isabelle greet visitors.
Both photos by Thomas.

Thanks to Kathleen, Jean, Michael and Janice for stopping by! Also to Jesse for joining us in the afternoon.

The kiosk all ready, Thursday night.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Venez nous visiter - Come visit us: Jan. 21, Portes Ouvertes Griffintown

The Office of Public Consultation of Montreal is allowing the public to visit 16 kiosks that show the life of Griffintown today, and its importance to the future of the neighbourhood tomorrow, during an Open House at the École de technologie supérieure, 1100 Notre-Dame Ouest, 10am-4pm. A plan of the event space is copied below:

And here is the description of the larger event, which takes place over two days (you have to register for a spot in the colloquium and workshop through the OCPM's website - see link at right).

Notice in the second page, which has a map of the areas of concern in Griffintown, that Parc Gallery (which we have circled in red) is not noted. Our objective during the next two days is to change the perception that this is empty space! Our kiosk will have images from the dog park on display, a slideshow of dogs and human users of Parc Gallery, copies of our exhibition catalogue (which has lots of historical information) and our official "mémoire" or justification to save the park, sent out to approximately 20 politicians and heritage workers last year. We'll also have copies of our petition to sign - so please stop by and add your support to our cause! Cynthia and Thomas will be present representing pouf! art + architecture, and Claude T. (Canelle) and Isabelle R. (Duff) will be there representing the park's users, and the facebook page initiative. See you there!

New Griffintown residents chose the neighbourhood because of Parc Gallery

Hello dog parc gallery followers,

As the plans for this weekend's public consultations about Griffintown's future finalize, we received this email from a soon-to-be resident of Les Bassins de Nouveau Havre, being built on the former Canada Post sorting station site, across the street from Parc Gallery. This is what Marie-Claude had to say:

"We are moving into Les Bassins du Havre in 2013 and are dog owners.  The presence of the dog park was an important factor in our decision to buy a condo in that project.To our dismay this morning, when we visited the construction site, a dog owner told us that the dog park was in danger of being shut down or relocated.  We found your address at the park and I am writing to offer any help that I can - from a distance because we presently live in Bromont.  I will of course speak to the developer, but circulating a petition is not a possibility.  If there is a copy of the petition somewhere, we will gladly sign it however.  And, if there is anything else I can do, please let me know."

This message was a welcome offer of help (thank-you Marie-Claude!) but it also sends an important message to those who are currently deciding Griffintown's - and Parc Gallery's - future. New residents want to live in a neighbourhood that has amenities such as an excellent, safe dog park.  Although we have received informal support from Devimco that they agree with the initiative to save the park, we still have not received official confirmation. And while the consultations this weekend are an important step towards showing the City of Montreal and their developer partners that there is much life in this park, there is still a long way to go towards saving Griffintown's oldest surviving public green space. Let's hope this weekend's efforts will help ensure that when Abaya and Beckham move from Bromont to Griffintown, Parc Gallery will be there to make their days joyful.

Friday, January 13, 2012

dogs in snow

Some inspiring winter videos of dogs and humans enjoying just what Parc Gallery offers its local interspecies community. Thanks to Lori, Martin, and Stache, who were visiting Morin Heights...

and to Rebecca, Dave, who were in Maine with Horace and Roma.

Griffintown Selon Vous - Office de Consultation Publique de Montréal

Hello dog parc gallery followers! Happy new year. We hope you've all had great quality time with your companion species and families.

On January 20-21, pouf! will be present at the following event, "Griffintown Selon Vous" - an initiative of the Office of Public Consultation, which is interested to hear from community organization and arts groups about the future of Griffintown. The history of public consultation for Griffintown's swift development is not a great one - many decisions were made in the first 10 years of the new millennium which were not what Griffintown's users wanted. So this public event is a great opportunity to show the 250 registered participants/visitors what it is we DO want to see in this special part of Montreal. Of course, our particular concern will be Parc Gallery's protection as a dog park and community amenity. Park users Claude Trépanner, Isabelle Roy will be present with pouf! and Shauna Janssen, who is the curator behind all the amazing art projects you've seen in Griffintown since September 2009 ( We will share our photographic project, show some of our research about Parc Gallery's history, and have publications and petitions for visitors to see and sign. Join us or check this blog the following week for an update about how the event went.