Chronicle of daily life in the Village: Madame Plante, take off your rose-colored glasses!

Chronicle of daily life in the Village: Madame Plante, take off your rose-colored glasses!
Chronicle of daily life in the Village: Madame Plante, take off your rose-colored glasses!

I have lived in the Village for over 25 years and, at the time, it was a lively and fashionable area with bars and businesses which today, for the most part, have disappeared.

In the Village, even the two McDonald’s and a Tim Hortons are closing. It’s not nothing!

Just spending the last weekend in our neighborhood made us want to sell.

Saint Catherine

On Saturday, a drug addict in crisis knocked over our recycling bin all over our parking lot. He shouted, he was aggressive and unmanageable. Later in the evening, I’m going to run a race on Sainte-Catherine. It’s rather rare that I venture there, because it depresses me, it’s dirty, intoxicated and sad. From point A to point B, I was harassed for money, yelled at in the little Sainte-Rose park, which was full of crack smokers.

On Sainte-Catherine, there is life and the terraces are full on this beautiful almost summer evening. Bravo to the traders who are hanging in there and still believing in it. In some places I even think I can see the Village of the Beautiful Years again.

But I know very well that, when night falls, there is a good chance that when you walk there you will have the impression of being in the music video for Thriller, by Michael Jackson, the people in the street are so intoxicated and in a thousand pieces. It’s sad, but very real.

The next day, a groan wakes me up. There is a naked man in my yard. He’s not doing well at all, he’s intoxicated. I go out to help him. The man is in a sorry state and his whole body seems to hurt. I go get him a chair, I try to cover him, he rejects the idea. Feeling helpless, I dial 911 for help.

Call for help

This winter, on the former Radio-Canada site, a camp appeared, a tent in the freezing cold, then two, then three, then an entire village occupied the land. I called the City, then the police, not to complain or because they were a nuisance, but to ask to help them, to send them resources. I was thrown like a ball without ever really being able to find help.

It hurt me not to be able to help them and to be so helpless. Last week they were chased away. I said to myself, “Finally they’re going to help them.” But no, they were simply moved. I quickly understood that the speakers were also out of breath and out of resources.

“Things are better in the Village and it’s safer,” our mayor said in front of the cameras. I beg her to take off her rose-colored glasses. The neighborhood is in decay and the City of Montreal is not getting any better and it is not with giant multi-colored giraffes and mini golf trails that the real problems will be solved. Junk does not help human distress.

There are enough of these futile decorations which will become graffiti canvases anyway.

That too is another problem in our city.

But hey, let’s take it one thing at a time!

Patrick Delisle-Crevier
Resident of the Gay Village / Ville-Marie in Montreal



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