Parc Lahaie transformation underway

Parc Lahaie with areas to be revitalised shown highlighted (photo credit: Étienne Coutu)

Earlier this month the Plateau administration announced a series of measures to revitalise parks within the borough. Chief among them are two key initiatives that will change the face of Parc Lahaie in Mile End.

This park is located at the corner of St-Laurent and St-Joseph in front of the Saint-Enfant-Jésus Church. Parc Lahaie is in the historic core of Saint-Louis-du-Mile-End and it is, along with Parc Saint-Michel, one of the only parks in the modern-day neighbourhood.

To increase the size of the park and push traffic off neighbouring residential streets, the borough has announced that it will permanently close to automobiles the stretch of St-Dominique that runs between the park and the church. This summer the park will also host a new farmers’ market on Thursday evenings starting on June 17th. The market will take place on the newly pedestrianised St-Dominique, which will be renovated next year specifically to serve this new vocation.

An artist’s conception of the new market (photo credit: Étienne Coutu)

The new neighbourhood market is organised by Greening Duluth, an initiative of the House of Friendship. Last summer this group organised a highly successful Sunday market at the St-Jean-Baptiste school at Laval and Marianne. This year, they’ve decided to continue the market and expand into Mile End. As well as fresh, locally-grown produce, the markets will feature live music from local groups.

St-Dominique fermé

Late last week city workers installed new entrée interdite signs on St-Dominique.

This weekend the project officially got under way with the closure of St-Dominique to traffic. For the time being the street will be painted over in green in advance of a more thorough renovation of the park next year. This is part of the Plateau administration’s broader philosophy of putting immediate, stop-gap measures in place in preparation of more permanent, long-term improvements of public space.


  1. Statues of angels embellished the façade of Saint-Enfant-Jésus church up until 1978, when they were taken down (because they were falling to pieces) and put into storage. The Centre de conservation du Québec in Quebec City is now in the process of restoring them, and they’re scheduled to be back in place this fall. The angels were the work of Olindo Gratton (1855-1941), best known for the thirteen statues on top of the façade of Mary Queen of the World Cathedral on René-Lévesque Boulevard. For full information on the project, see

  2. Excellente initiative, mais je ne comprends pas l’idée de peindre L’asphalte en vert juste pour un été. C’est une dépense superflue, ça risque d’avoir l’air quétaine et ça n’a rien d’écologique.

  3. Martin, je crois que l’idée est de bien marquer le fait que ce passage n’est plus une rue. À Amsterdam et à Copenhague, les pistes cyclables ont une couleur distincte de la chaussée – un peu rouille/orangé à Amsterdam; bleu à Copenhague. J’aimerais bien voir des pistes de couleur ici!

    C’est une très belle église baroque; très contente de la voir mise en valeur de la sorte.

    Et que dire des anges! Plus baroque, tu meurs.

  4. @Kevin : Thanks for that extra info! I remember hearing about the angels a while back, but I didn’t think to mention it in the article. One more good thing happening in this part of Mile End!

    @Martin : Comme Maria l’avait dit, c’est une mesure symbolique. Le concept est de créer une indication visuelle (en attendant un vrai réaménagement) pour signifier que l’endroit est maintenant une place publique pour les gens et non pas une rue pour les autos. Je suis d’accord que ça n’aura pas nécessairement une apparence idéale, mais c’est une idée intéressante. Voici quelques examples de New York:

    @Leila : I know, right? In my opinion the coolest thing about this project is the synergy it shows between community groups and the borough administration. Instead of working in opposition, or just being oblivious of each other, they are working together to make two good projects into one amazing project.

  5. maybe (for once) we can have a park where we can sit on the grass and not sit in dog shit? Just once? Maybe one day per week with no dogs running amok? A safe park for people and kids, and not a wild dog corral?

    Cleaning up this park is long overdue, it’s a disgrace in it’s present state.

  6. Angels in the Architecture!

    Indeed, green paint would not be ideal for such a lovely parvis – I’d love to see some kind of tiling but our climate is so much harder than most places in Latin America, Portugal or Spain. I do also think there should be some kind of very limited car access for funerals and weddings at the church, unless that can be arranged from another access to the building. And hope the market hours can also extend to Friday and Saturday, mass and wedding etc hours permitting.

    Roger, I guess leash laws are a matter of enforcement and consensus. Dogs also need somewhere to run – is there anywhere nearby? The basic problem is the dearth of parks in that area.

  7. haha! that was hilarious, Roger. That said, I’ve walked through this park a zillion times and have never sat on or stepped in feces, thank goodness. Nor have I ever noticed any major problem concerning packs of (wild) dogs. Then again, I like dogs, so…

    I’ve very happy to hear they’re revamping the park. Every time I walk through it I lament on its sad state of affairs. Big, dry, sad patches of dust and sand interspersed with the occasional bush and picnic table. Misere. Excited to see what it looks like afterward.

  8. Absolutely fabulous! I’ve tried to photograph the church without the parked cars interfering.. to no avail.

    I also love the proposal for Parc Laurier. I 47’d by it today and there were no cars in the roundabout. The green paint must be imminent!

    Rosemont is also planning on a seasonal pedestrianisation- à la Village gai- of Masson next year. Very nice!

  9. Great initiatives coming from the Plateau administration! The idea of acting fast, yet give time for the project to flourish is indeed part of a smart global (or at least North American) trend. It reminds me of actions posed especially in New York City last year, when a portion of Times Square was closed off to traffic, as well as areas near Bryant Park and 34th Street. 

    I think it allows for people to recognize new ventures and get accustomed to “greener”, “friendlier”, “more-close-to-the-people” proposals.

    Get working Montreal, times are changing.

  10. Bonjour à tous, concernant le parc de la haie devant l’église St-Enfant-Jésus rue St-Dominique présentement il y a une pétition contre le déasphaltage de la rue St-Dominique, je vous encourage tous à signer la pétition , le projet du maire déplaît aux résident des allentours  ,au curé et aux commeçants. Quel gaspillage d’argent . Ôter le stationnement du parc Laurier est Aussi ridicule
    Retirer au parc Laurier le béton ds le parc des petits serait un bon placement pr éviter que les petits ne se blesse dessus, quel mauvaise idée ce béton , il nous ennuie depuis 4 ans depuis les rénovation.

  11. JJ: Ou est le lien vers la pétition, ça serait utile de la mettre ici… à moins que les éditeurs du blog l’ont enlevés… 

  12. We need a current picture of Parc Lahaie. It has come a long way, and indeed there is a public place (piazza/plaza) in front of the baroque church, lovely public benches and picnic tables, and a lot of users of all ages! Bravo!!!

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