Parking Lot Turned Garden on Duluth

Duluth Garden 2

If you’ve walked on Duluth near rue Coloniale recently, you’ve probably noticed a charming change in the neighbourhood. A local community centre, House of Friendship has transformed its paved parking lot into a fresh-faced community garden.  The Duluth Avenue Community Greening Initiative, a project of the House of Friendship, has teamed up with Soverdi (La Société de Verdissement) in an effort to green Duluth and create a vibrant and interactive community space. The overall aim of the initiative is to nourish the neighborhood, helping it become more close-knit, healthier, and happier though its shared environment and socially-conscious activities.

The idea for the project dates back to last year and developed through months of design phases and grant proposals. A few weeks ago at the end of May, the initial depaving and installation took place. The plot was decorated with hand-crafted wooden boxes and benches filled with herbs and flowers, woodland plants, shrubbery and a tree. The website has a cute video that whizzes through the entire parking-lot-to-garden process in 6 minutes.

Seating areas throughout allow for small meetings, workshops, and educational programmes. The entire venture was realized for under $6,000 and features recycled paving stones, reused hydro poles used to raised beds and benches, as well as local artistry. Maintenance and additional planting is scheduled for June, with an official opening ceremony late June/July.

Be sure to stop by and sit for a while, enjoying Montreal’s newest urban green space!
Duluth Garden 1


  1. It is a beautifully-designed project. When I first read “community garden”, I was a bit apprehensive, as I knew that, ugly though it was, the paved courtyard was used as a place for refugees to chat, and yes, smoke, but this design allows that while greening the physically ugly space. La Maison de l’Amitié is a Mennonite mission for refugees, the community and peace (though open to all). I know them well from refugee-support issues.

    It is designed to be pretty in all seasons. Bravo!

  2. This building used to be my old elementary school, the Jewish Peretz School which was there from the 1940s until 1960 when much of the Jewish community had moved to other parts of town.
    When I go by, I still look at some concrete bumps on the western wall of the former playground, where the older kids used to hurl tennis balls at a particular angle to have them bounce back in the air. We called the “American baseball” or just “American”.
    The House of Friendship or Maison d”Amitié is a Mennonite Centre, set up by Canadian Mennonites from provinces to the west of Quebec to help care for Chilean Mennonite refugees who came to Quebec after the Pinochet coup.

  3. It is unfortunate that the “taggers” had no respect for the mural nor for what it represents… Hopefully the garden will get the appreciation it deserves.

  4. About 10 years ago there was an excellent street party with The Snitches playing out side this place. Can’t remember the exact cause but it still gives me a good feeling passing by.

  5. A stylish project. It’s spectacular that in such a small place they did that.It’s atractive, it’s elegant relaxing, inspireing.I also like the presence of urban art there.So many projects like this one can be done in our cities. to bad aren’t too many.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.