Like any post-industrial city, Montreal needs to contend with the toxic soil as the old industry is replaced with more livable spaces. The city has found a novel approach on lands that used to be massive railway switching yards just north of the green and pleasant Outremont neighborhood: a tree plantation and urban farm. It makes for a really great place to hang out, just north of Mile End and west of Mile Ex.
As the trees – particularly willows – grow, they draw the toxins out of the soil. Over time (25-30 years) the soil is cleaned and the trees can be transplanted throughout less ‘green’ neighborhoods. This is the project run by Soverdi, who tend to the trees in an area that is quite unique.
There is a screen for outdoor film projections, and shelters and benches made of old palettes. Here you will also find a strange pyramid of benches that doubles as an art gallery, small fields, and greenhouses tended by students from the nearby university. Sitting in the plantation feels like you’re in a better, more harmonious, but DIY future.