Despite having long been a resident of the South Shore, Danielle has roots in the Ahuntsic district since childhood. She came here regularly to visit her grandparents who had moved in a home near the Nicolas-Viel Park in the early fifties. Upon their deaths, her father acquired their residence as rental property which he kept as rental property for nearly 25 years. Today, it is Danielle who is the proud owner of the place. She moved into this same dwelling two years ago, after having completed major renovations.
She is a social worker in a general hospital affiliated to a medical faculty. She is attached to the Department of Obstetrics. Through this job, she meets and assists numerous people.
It is precisely in the Nicolas-Viel Park, on a beautiful Friday early in the evening, that I have met Danielle. N'zi, her husband, and her were sitting together at a picnic table between the children's games and the edge of the river. They were chatting quietly, enjoying the start of what promised to be a beautiful summer weekend. A frequent visitor of this place in her youth, she said that she could remember wading in the water on the banks along the park to pick leeches with a little boy who lived upstairs of her grandparents. In my mind, I would more easily relate this type of activity to a muddy lake somewhere in the Laurentians or in Lanaudière!
I wonder what the two young friends were doing at the time with the leeches they had caught.
Until the 50s, there was a brook that flowed into the Rivière des prairies not far upstream of the park. The idea was raised at one point in the public discussion about the Programme particulier d'urbanisme (PPU) Secteur Henri-Bourassa Ouest that its course should somehow be remembered. I imagine that the surface of the park and the banks of the river have undergone some significant changes with the passage of years.
A click on the title below will take you to a bird's eye view of the area at the time.
Source: Les Archives de Montréal