Discover the history of Frédéric-Back Park, an environmental complex in the Saint-Michel district.
The Miron quarry and La TOHU site was located under the sea, 4 degrees south of the Equator. The sedimentary rock found on the site is therefore an old seabed that was once located below the Tropics. This limestone rock contains many types of fossils, which can still be seen today.
The numerous small-scale quarries that survived an intensive period of closures merged in 1920. In the early 1930s, the site of the future Miron quarry was in turn owned by Barbin and Varin, Villeray Quarry, Canadian Quarry, Montreal Quarry and then by Consumer up to 1947.
The Miron brothers purchased their first quarry on the site. In 1954 and 1956, Miron expanded by purchasing adjoining quarries. In 1957, all of these small quarries were amalgamated under the Miron banner.
Several poorly controlled blasting sessions caused numerous headaches for local residents. Some had an unenviable geographic location, many of them living less than 100 m from the quarry. Their closeness to the rock extraction site resulted in unfortunate accidents, which served to increase local resentment. The protests made themselves heard, as did spokespeople from the Saint-Michel community.
The Miron company converted a part of the quarry into a landfill site for household garbage. On the Miron’s 192-hectare site, the immense dump covering an area of 75 hectares and 70 m deep was slowly filled with rotting matter, while they continued to extract limestone in other sectors.
In 1988, the City officially takes possession of the Miron Quarry lands. The two chimneys of the cement plant, iconic Saint-Michel landmarks , are demolished in front of some 50,000 people, mainly residents. The Waste Treatment and Disposal Centre is created to manage the sorting of recyclable materials. The Gazmont power station starts converting into electricity biogas extracted from production wells.
To emphasize the celebrations of the 375 years of Montreal, several sectors of the park will be open to the public in 2017!
A portion of the park along Papineau Avenue, south of Émile-Journault Street, will be converted into a showcase for visitors to discover the rest of the park. Further north, between the Taz, the new soccer center and the Louvain entrance, visitors will find views of the site and the Olympic stadium through panoramic viewpoints along the renovated multi-purpose lane. On 8th Avenue, the Émile-Journault Est and 2e Avenue entrances will be redesigned, along with the multi-purpose lane, with small panoramic viewpoints to enjoy views of the park and Mount Royal.
A portion of the wooded area will be open to the public allowing visitors to enter in the heart of the park for the first time! This portion will be connected to the D'Iberville South portion and will include walking paths leading to a gazebo offering breathtaking views of the icons of the Montreal landscape: Mount Royal, the city center and the Olympic Stadium tower. A work of art created by the artist Alain-Martin Richard in collaboration with the Montrealers will also be integrated in this sector. Rest stops and water runoff works will animate the course.
Finally, to complete the development and improve the user experience, thousands of trees, shrubs and ground cover will be planted and signposting and interpretation elements on the history of the CESM will be installed to facilitate orientation And traffic.
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2345, rue Jarry Est,
Montréal (Québec) H1Z 4P3