‘At the moment there are no rules’: Alleyway skating rinks graveled over then rebuilt in Montreal
Mélanie Cyr’s sons would throw snowsuits over their pyjamas and head into the night to flood the narrow skating rink in the alley behind their house. Then two weeks ago they returned home from school to find the city had dumped a load of crushed stone on the rink, ruining it after a neighbour complained about the slippery conditions. Another rink farther down the alley suffered the same fate.
“I won’t repeat the words they used,” Ms. Cyr said Monday of her three boys, aged 11, 13 and 15. “They were mad because it was a lot of work…. It was like seeing their work destroyed.”
With winter’s arrival, the city’s roughly 475 kilometres of back alleys, which have inspired writers and artists over the decades, become mostly snow-covered and deserted. Parents in at least one central Montreal neighbourhood thought they had found a way to change that.
On a two-block stretch of the alley behind Casgrain Ave. in the Villeray district, three homemade rinks popped up in December. The alley, running behind two rows of houses, is city property, but in the winter it is not plowed.
“There are many of us who want to make skating rinks, who want to take advantage of our winter,” said Sylvain Guilbeault, who for the second year created a rink behind his house for his seven-year-old son Raphaël. “A lot of children in the neighbourhood come to skate. Sometimes there are eight children skating.” (Christinne Muschi for National Post)
‘If I have to wear shoes, I suffer’: Montreal resident discusses the perks and pitfalls of going barefoot, full-time
Anemone Cerridwen does not wear shoes. Ever. Shoes made her feet ache, and bleed, and so three years ago she abandoned wearing them altogether. Embracing a barefoot life has led to legal skirmishes with transit authorities in Vancouver, where she used to live, and Montreal, where she lives now, and Ottawa, her hometown. She complained to the Canadian Transportation Agency, saying her foot problems amounted to a disability under the law. In a newly released decision, the CTA makes it clear it was not convinced: “The Agency is of the opinion that the problems with Ms. Cerridwen’s feet — overlapping toes, bleeding heels, corns, calluses, blisters and squeezed toes — are common, relatively minor and, in most cases, easily addressed by people and usually without medical intervention.” In an email interview with the Post’s Joe O’Connor from her Montreal apartment Wednesday, Ms. Cerridwen, a writer, explained her choices. (anemonecerridwen.net)
Montreal police arrest 12 as hundreds march in post-Grand Prix protest
Protesters sent a clear message Sunday night that while the Canadian Formula One Grand Prix may be over, their nightly demonstrations will continue.
After a weekend of violence and arrests that put Quebec’s student protests back on the international stage and brought claims of police “profiling,” several hundred marched in a downtown demonstration that almost immediately was declared illegal.
Windows were smashed, notably those at the offices of the Caisse de depot pension manager and at the National Bank.
A police cruiser was also damaged and police said they made 12 arrests — nine for bylaw infractions and three for alleged criminal offences, including assault. It was the 48th consecutive night that protesters gathered in Montreal. (Photos: Gazette; Reuters; AFP/Getty Images)
Quebec tuition protesters clash with Grand Prix partiers in Montreal
A group of activists, protesting capitalism in general and Quebec’s tuition hikes in particular, tried their hardest last night to crash the party on the Montreal street most closely associated with this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.
On one side of the barrier they shouted about injustice; on the other they sipped beer and wondered what the fuss was about.
Thousands of Formula One fans flock to Crescent Street each year for the expensive cars, the free swag and the popular nightclubs. It is the focal point for scenesters, for those looking to see and be seen.
A protest march that began near a community center in one of the city’s working-class neighbourhoods projected an altogether different ethos.
1,2,3,4, this is f—ing class war,” the crowd of several hundred chanted. “5,6,7,8, overthrow this fascist state.” (Photos: Canadian Press; AFP/GettyImages; Reuters)