Montreal week: curb side planting strips

Ottawa has few planting strips between the sidewalk and curb. Generally, our engineers-in-charge like to have no setback for the sidewalk, and if one is unavoidably necessary,  to leave it all paved.

Montreal is busy removing those concrete strips, and planting plants. Here is one demonstrating neighbouring pride:


And here is one that is rather neglected in the commercial (mainstreet) end:


We noticed that the latest bits of street greening now leave the full concrete surface for the first 100′ or so in from the commercial streets, and the nicer green planting commences when the residential properties begin abutting the street. Notice below that hydrangea bushes are planted, growing five feet high, hiding the cars.  Somehow snow removal isn’t a problem …


below: Here is a “before” picture, showing a street with lots of concrete and small “tree wells”, a few of which are planted. Despite the small openings, Montreal trees thrive way better than Ottawa ones. Maybe its the better climate. Or that they speak French. Anyhow, once the concrete is removed, it will look green like the pictures above.


On a street with a separated bi-directional bike track, the divider boulevard is planted with trees and grasses, and if you squint further up the street, you’ll see a whole block of tightly planted trees and shrubs:


Below:  Here is the head of a T intersection, adjacent a park. The parking lane has been removed, and the park expanded outwards. Did you know that parking lanes are actually named after parks, as in green space? The tree planting strip was called the park lane, but as motor cars proliferated, the trees were sacrificed for parking cars.


Here’s another view of that recaptured parking lane:



Here on the west side of Ottawa, community action successfully got the small park on Elm expanded out onto the parking lane of the street. However, the parks dept refused to have anything to do with it. And the (car) parking folks refused to give up jurisdiction just in case they wanted their road back … and we couldn’t get the park expansion to actually be the full two hundred feet of park frontage, it had to be half that, because, don’t you know, there is such a high demand for parking at Bluesfest … anyhow, we won the permission, but still await funding to implement this. A low achievement, but still a first for Ottawa.

Meanwhile, downtown wards are brimming full of park acquisition funds that go unspent …

And here is a short Montreal street being turned into a chicane with two tree-root-deep planters:



(one planter this side of the street, in the distance, the other one is on the opposite side, just beyond the awnings on the building).