Group seeks to create park near Black Rock memorial to Irish
Published Sunday, May 25, 2014 4:38PM EDT
A local group is pushing for a plan that would reroute Bridge St. south of Wellington in order to create a park on a site where many Irish immigrants died long ago.
The group detailed their plans in an interview with CTV Montreal Sunday at a memorial for the 6,000 Irish immigrants that died in fevers sheds on after coming to the island in 1847.
The Black Rock memorial on Bridge, seen as a sacred site for local Irish, has since seen its surroundings encroached upon by parking lots, a busy street and industrial facilities.
Group representative Dian English said that reclaiming some of that space would create much-needed green space for the area as well as the fast-growing adjacent Griffintown district.
The park would even attract tourists, she believes.
“We think it’s a major cultural destination which is tourism, a great industry and revitalize the whole sector and keeping the respectful commemorative site that is it," said English.
The park they propose would require a rerouting of Bridge St. and would contain sporting facilities, a cultural centre and a pond with a sculpture of a coffin ship in the middle to symbolize the tragedy that led the immigrants to contract the fatal illness.
A lively community known as Goose Village sat near the site until its demolition mid-60s but the area is currently inhabited mostly by industry. Bridge is at times heavily travelled by the many cars seeking to access the Victoria Bridge.
It's not currently known whether municipal authorities are considering the plan.
The group provided this photo of what they'd like a future park to look like. (Handout)