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Ryan and the sprawl

December 15th, 2006 · No Comments

Old Montreal map

A friend of mine has a short editorial entitled “Time to put urban sprawl in check” in today’s Gazette. I don’t believe you can stop the sprawl but you can certainly make sure it’s discussed and managed along the way. I believe far more in Permaculture, where you have sustainable habits in whatever density is present. This can range from the large project to the smallest (in urban environments). Converting your rooftop to a garden with vegetables/compost/ or starting a tomato plant in a bucket on your porch.

“One of the things I love about living in Ste. Anne de Bellevue is that I can get up on Saturday mornings from June until October and take a leisurely walk over to our local farmers’ market on the boardwalk. There, I can purchase a watermelon, a butternut squash or a red pepper and know that these fruits and vegetables did not travel 3,000 kilometres to get here.

Most of the local farmers that sell their produce at the market are from off-island Ile Perrot or St. Lazare, but at least one is based on the island of Montreal. Alison Hackney farms in Senneville on land that has been in her family for generations.

To my knowledge, she stands practically alone.

Why is it that unlike most European cities, where agricultural land close to cities has been carefully preserved for future generations, places like the West Island have haphazardly replaced some of the best agricultural land in North America with suburban developments, strip malls and asphalt. In Germany or France, anyone in a city the size of Montreal can bike or take a short train ride into the countryside and visit local farms where they can do a good portion of their weekly grocery shopping.”

Read the full piece | Map from above (1834) and more

Tags: montreal + canada + the world