Hero of our history, Raymond Blain

Hero of our history, Raymond Blain
Hero of our history, Raymond Blain

Born in 1950, Raymond Blain studied at the University of Quebec in Montreal and obtained a law degree from the University of Montreal. The first Montreal alderman and Quebec politician to admit his sexual orientation, he is also the first openly gay candidate to be elected in Canada. “I want,” he said, “to do politics in an honest way. It seems important to me that people know who I am. In fact, for me it was a condition for running in these elections 1.”

Elected twice, in 1986 and 1990, under the banner of the Rally of Citizens of Montreal (RCM), he represented the Saint-Jacques district on the municipal council. Member of the Executive Committee under the administration of Jean Doré, he will manage many important issues including that of security; will work to respect the rights of certain minorities, including homosexuals; and will strive to improve the quality of life of its fellow citizens. We owe him the establishment of the Info-Drug line, the establishment of an anti-AIDS program and the creation of shelters for victims 2.

Following years of systematic repression under the reign of Mayor Jean Drapeau, “his legacy [sic] Most important […] will have been to change the relationship between the community and the City. This is what opened the way for the growth of the community and made Montreal one of the great gay-friendly destinations in the world 3.” In addition to fighting against drugs and prostitution, he participated in the creation of the Parc de l’Espoir on Sainte-Catherine Street, the creation of the Gay and Lesbian Community Center, as well as the redevelopment of Faubourg Québec and Place Émilie-Gamelin.

In 1994, it was in his honor and to highlight his unique contribution that the City created a park in his name. Located on Panet Street between Lafontaine and Logan Streets, Parc du Marchand then became Parc Raymond-Blain. Since 2003, the site “is part of the Living Parks, a revitalization project through citizen reappropriation 4.”

In particular, there is a wide variety of trees such as the fastigiate oak, the Colorado spruce, the smooth honeylocust, the horse chestnut and the Austrian black pine. It was recently redone to encourage relaxation and sport with a yoga area where classes are offered free of charge, a pétanque court, sports equipment, street furniture, bright colors, a picnic area and a space for community composting.

“Recently redeveloped by incorporating the colors of the rainbow, Raymond-Blain Park has become an open-air gym5. » This is certainly a precious tribute allowing us to safeguard the memory of a hero of our history who passed away prematurely, who died of AIDS in May 1992 at the age of 41.


  1. The editorial team, “They said it in Fugues”, Fugues, March 26, 2014:
    https://www.fugues.com/239228-article-ils-lont-dit-dans-fugues.html. Accessed October 24, 2022.
  2. Commemorative plaque: The streets of Montreal – Historical directory, Éditions du Méridien, 1995. And newspaper La Presse.
  3. André Gagnon, “Le Parc Raymond-Blain, a park in the colors of the rainbow”, Les Guides GQ, July 1: https://www.guidesgq.com/blog/posts/le-parc-raymond -blain-a-park-with-rainbow-colors.
  4. Commemorative plaque, op. cit.
  5. Yves Lafontaine, “2 TrekFit urban gyms in Montreal very (well) attended”, Fugues, July 29, 2021: https://www.fugues.com/2021/07/29/2-gyms-urbains-trekfit-a-montreal -very-very-frequent/.


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