Montréal, QC

Montréal Urban Ecology Center

Jane’s Walk Montreal is organized by Montreal Urban Ecology Center of Montreal. This year, the MUEC celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Jane’s Walk Festival! To learn more about the walks in Montreal and create your own walk, visit the website for Jane’s Walk Montreal:

Walk Stories

Walk stories are chronicles of moments, ideas, insights, and images from a Jane’s Walk, curated and submitted by local participants, walk leaders, and city organizers.

May 2015 – Au Nom des Femmes / in the Name of Women

Walk Leader: Julien Hivon

It was a sunny Saturday morning and about twenty people gathered in front of the new Rosemont library in La Petite-Patrie district. Participants were diverse and included all sorts of people ranging from 15 to 65 years old. Everyone was here to learn or share stories about heroines who had fought for women’s rights.   

Only 4 percent of streets are named after women in Montréal. “The scarcity of women’s names is a symbol of inequality in our society,” noted an attendee who in 1995 had walked from Montreal to Quebec marching against poverty and violence against women.

During our walk, we snacked on some delicious homemade madeleines. It was not a tourist trail since I am not a tour guide. It was a conversation between people interested by the same subject of women’s rights. Everyone had the opportunity to share their personal experiences and knowledge, and participate in our discussion.

At one point, we stopped by the “Field of Possible.“ Here I spoke about the different waves of feminism that have take place, and shared some biographic notes on powerful female leaders such as Marie-Claire Kirkland-Casgrain, the first woman member of the National Assembly. Finally, we made our way through quaint, green streets towards Jeanne-Mance Park, named after the co-founder of the city of Montreal. At the end of our walk, we all shared a picnic and discussed the current feminism movement.

May 2014 – Pioneers of the Picket Line: The History of Women in the Labour Movement

Walk Leader: Melanie Leavitt
Text by: Tristan Bougie

Photographs by: Tristan Bougie

We ended our walk in front of a former garment factory. One of the participants informed me that her mother, as an immigrant to Canada, had worked there for years. She later emailed me to share the story of her mother’s experience and to thank me for providing her with a greater understanding of the history of that industry, along with the stories and struggles of the thousands of women who, just like her mother, had worked in that same industry. She also asked for ways that she could help improve the current situation for other immigrant and women workers who continue to be exploited. Two other participants emailed me to tell me that they’ve walked that street hundreds of times, and that now they will always look at it differently, with a new understanding and appreciation of what happened there.

Notre promenade s’est terminée devant la façade d’une ancienne usine de vêtements. Une des participantes m’a alors informée que sa mère, nouvellement arrivée au Canada, y avait travaillé pendant des années. Par la suite, elle m’a envoyé un courriel pour me faire part de l’expérience vécue par sa mère et pour me remercier de lui avoir permis de mieux comprendre l’histoire de cette industrie, ainsi que les expériences et les luttes par lesquelles étaient passées des milliers de femmes qui, comme sa mère, avaient travaillé dans la même industrie. Elle a aussi voulu savoir de quelle façon elle pouvait aider à améliorer les conditions de vie actuelles d’autres immigrants et de travailleuses qui continuent à être exploités. Deux autres participants m’ont aussi transmis un courriel pour me dire qu’ils avaient arpenté cette rue des centaines de fois et, qu’à la lumière des choses qu’ils ont apprises, ils ne la verront plus jamais de la même façon.

May 2014 – The Green Alleyways of Sainte-Marie: A Sustainable Citizen Vision / Les Ruelles Vertes de Sainte-Marie: Une Vision Citoyenne et Durable

Walk Leader: Joanie Brière, Éco-quartier Sainte-Marie
Text by: Tristan Bougie
Photographs by: Tristan Bougie

Beautification projects carried out for and by citizens are popping up everywhere—whether to reduce the urban heat island effect, improve air quality, protect biodiversity or create lively, welcoming living environments. We bumped into citizens working on a green alleyway, and they told us about their experience and perceptions of green alleyways. How nice that such interactions can happen unexpectedly!

Que ce soit pour lutter contre les ilots de chaleur urbains, améliorer la qualité de l’air, protéger la biodiversité ou créer des milieux de vie conviviaux et dynamiques, l’embellissement par et pour les citoyens est en pleine expansion. Nous avons rencontré par hasard des citoyens impliqués dans les ruelles vertes qui nous ont raconté leurs expériences et leurs perceptions de la ruelle verte! Bien intéressant que cela arrive à l’improviste!

May 2014 – Walk Around des Carrières / La Marche des Carrières

Walk Leader: Nathalie Boucher, R.Es.P.I.R.E
Text by: Tristan Bougie
Photographs by: Tristan Bougie

Streets that don’t follow the grid are rare in Montréal. But there is one that stretches between Gilford and Iberville that most Montrealers don’t know about: Rue des Carrières. This street’s unique geographical, historical and social path brings together a number of aspects that make up citizens’ daily lives. Participants learned about the small stories that are part of a much greater story and tales of today. To their surprise, they also saw monuments and were witness to private moments. This walk was dedicated to Mathilde Blais who died in a bike accident at the end of April 2014.

Rares sont les rues à Montréal qui ne suivent pas la trame de rue quadrillée. Pourtant, il y en a une qui trace de la rue Gilford à jusqu’à la rue d’Iberville et qui est largement ignoré des Montréalais : la rue des Carrières. Cette rue, avec son parcours géographique, historique et social particulier, rassemble plusieurs aspects qui font le quotidien des citoyens. Les participants ont découvert les petites histoires qui forment la Grande histoire, des récits d’aujourd’hui et des vues surprenantes sur des monuments et des moments cachés. Cette promenade a été dédiée à Mme Mathilde Blais qui est décédée lors d’un accident de vélo à la fin du mois d’avril 2014.

Did you participate in a Jane’s Walk in this city?