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The Vanishing of an Urban Village: Research in Progress

A 1907 map showing Goose Village.  The neighborhood was to the east of the train tracks, between Mill Street and the St. Lawrence River. (Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec)

A 1907 map showing Goose Village. The neighborhood was to the east of the train tracks, between Mill Street and the St. Lawrence River. (Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec)

When I arrived in Montreal, my main challenge was to decide on a site to study for my Fulbright project.  I was looking for a place that had been somehow abandoned but that remained alive in peoples’ memory.  A many-layered place, perhaps one that had experienced radical physical and social changes from pre-colonial times to the present.

In my wanderings, I visited a local history museum, the Centre d’Histoire de Montréal.  There I encountered the Quartiers Disparus exhibition on Montreal neighborhoods lost to urban renewal projects between 1950 and 1975.  These included the Red Light, Faubourg à m’Lasse, and Goose Village.  The exhibition featured interviews with former residents as well as urban planners, weaving together different perspectives on the communities to explore what happened to them and why.  Continue reading

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