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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

The World Wide Web of the Turcot Interchange

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Courtesey of Signé Turcot

While many Montrealers wait with baited breath as the hearings of the Bureau des Audiences Publiques sur l’Environnement (BAPE) are set to begin deciding the fate of the Turcot Interchange (and some would argue the future of regional transportation), the online presence of this interchange grows larger each month. The purveyors of this information deal in various media – text, video, photos and graphic art – however all share the same ‘blogosphere’, each with their own unique niche. I suspect that not only the transportation fetishists who would appreciate a short tour of the online world of the Turcot Interchange, so here goes:

An information clearinghouse-style of blog – which goes simply by the moniker ‘Turcot’ – bills itself as an ‘one-stop shop’ of information on the Turcot project. It covers all the practical details, including the MTQ’s proposal, some alternative proposals, some of the issues raised (eg. health, environment, economy), the B.A.P.E. process as well as an archive of news and multimedia links. For those desiring a rounded and unbiased intro to the project, as well as information on how to produce a memoire for the BAPE hearings, this site is indispensable.

The picture above comes from Signé Turcot, a blog that takes a witty look at this “junction with issues” through compelling graphic images, at once both heartfelt and incisive. I don’t know much about the creator, however it appear that they live in the industrial loft building at 781 St. Remi, slated for demolition under the current proposal. For Signé Turcot, this has clearly gotten personal.

Initially one of the lone voices in the wilderness condemning the proposal, Mobilisation Turcot is collection of neighbourhood and community groups united in their opposition to the project. Recently, they launched a legal challenge, arguing that the purview of the BAPE considering the Turcot dossier should be expended to include secondary  and long-term effects. They have been in the mainstream press a lot lately and are clearly busy preparing for the BAPE process, leaving little time to update their website.

Of course, no survey of Turcot blogs would be complete without mention of “Neath’s” long-standing blog, Walking Turcot Yards. While originally inspired by the weird and massive vacant Turcot Yards, the blog provides insightful commentaries on Montreal politics, anecdotes of creative urban regeneration projects from around the word and an amazing archive of photos of the Turcot Interchange past and present.

The voices of opposition to the Turcot are getting stronger and refining their unique approaches to the issue. With the BAPE hearings set to begin in late June, check back at these blogs (and Spacing Montreal, of course!) as this saga continues to unfold.


  1. Now is the time to banish cars from downtown montreal. True green transportation means super efficient public transit; not an adaptation of the antiquated automobile.

    The Turcot Interchange should be rebuilt as a web of train, metro, bus, bike and pedestrian systems so that other cities will mimic our progressive model.

    The current plan of 20,000 more cars per day, passing over a mega highway, sounds more like a Toronto solution than a Montreal solution.

  2. @turboyerbo

    Do you by chance mean the two metro lines that pass by this area, the multiple above-ground commuter rail lines, the above-ground VIA Rail regional trains, the extensive bicycle-path network and the regular surface streets with sidewalks for pedestrians on both sides?

  3. Cyrus.

    That list SEEMS impressive, but those options are either not efficient, not cheap, or both.

    I use public transit everyday, and I am dissatisfied. Public transit could be automated. Public transit could be very cheap, more comfortable, and safer. We would all be able to travel faster if everyone took public transit rather than drove cars.

    If the entire system was as efficient as it could be, car drivers would be proud to ride public transit, rather than consider it a last resort.

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