Renaming Parc Avenue to be Robert Bourassa Avenue?

Apparently some Montreal politicians want to rename Parc Ave to be Robert Bourassa Ave (CBC report).

I have mixed feelings about it. The street passes between Parc du Mont-Royal and Parc Jeanne-Mance, which together form Montreal's glorious downtown park. I spent a lot of time at the Parcs playing sports, at the Tam-Tams or just hanging out. The name Parc Avenue is a great tribute to the culture that takes place there. Plus there are tons of stores on Parc above and below the Parks that have taken up the name.

On the other hand, Parc currently becomes Rue Bleury below Sherbrooke. I've always thought it was stupid to have streets change their names part-way through. Also, I do think it would be cool to have the intersection of Robert Bourassa and Rene Levesque.

PS: This blog entry was originally about something else. However since it (randomly) got a comment from a concerned citizen along with some follow-ups, I have repurposed it to the issue.

Posted by dustin on October 20, 2006 with category tags of

It was with great sorrow and a heavy heart that I heard the news from the
dictatorship at Montreal City Hall. They have taken upon themselves, without
any public consultation to change the name of my beloved Park Avenue to
Robert Bourassa. Mayor Tremblay and his puppets secretly planed to impose
their wishes on the most culturally diverse street in the heart of our great
city. Opposing the wishes of Bourassa's family to rename St. Joseph Blvd.,
where Bourassa grew up, claiming it would bring opposition from the Catholic
Church. Ignorant to the fact that a block away Laurier Ave. was renamed from
St. Louis in the early 1900's, a time when the Catholic Church's power was
dominant. I call on all the citizens of Montreal to rise up and insure that
Park Avenue will live forever!

Nikolaos Karabineris
Park Avenue Resident
   comment by Nikolaos (#210) on October 19, 2006

I disagree.

the name Park has no real significance. It's just named that because it goes through a major park. Whereas St. Joseph honours the nunnery. So I'm all for changing the name of Park, however, I'm not so sure about Bleury. Is Bleury already named for somebody? If so it would be a shame to change it.

   comment by LePhil on October 19, 2006

"RUE de BLEURY: This quaint little street past Avenue du Parc was formerly known as Rue Saint-Pierre. It was once a part of Jean-Clement de Bleury's charming farm."
source: the internet
   comment by chrisdye on October 20, 2006

Bleury becomes Rue St-Pierre in Old Montreal.

This whole thing stinks to me. The mayor (former cabinet minister of R. Bourassa) just wants to rename a street that's as big and significant as Dorchester (Boul. Rene-Levesque). That's the only reason I see for picking Park over St-Joseph. It's all about Bourassa having as big a d*ck as Levesque.

Honouring politic*ans by naming sh*t after them makes me queasy, especially since it's never subtle. Why don't they just f*cking rename Montreal, Robert-Bourassaville.
   comment by Bryan on October 20, 2006

The name Park Avenue is rich in historical lore and a part of Montreal heritage. The name dates back to 1883 and is part of the history of several of Montreal's immigrant communities. Robert Bourassa was a provincial - not a municipal - politician, and Quebec City has already erected a statue of him and is planning to rename a provincial highway in his memory. If - after consultation! - the people of Montreal desire in addition to rename a local landmark, let it be a new road, building or square, or one with less historical resonance than Park Avenue!

Please sign the petition against renaming Park Avenue here:
   comment by Peter Helfer on October 21, 2006


Please show your support by emailing City Hall.

Maire :

Comité exécutif : ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;

Conseillers : ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
   comment by Nikos on October 21, 2006

I would like everyone to know that I live and own a home on Park Avenue on top of which I fly a Greek flag in honour of my late father. Park Avenue welcomed my father and many other Greeks and afforded them an occasion to lay down roots and gave them an opportunity make a new life and a chance to start their first business,as I'm sure most of you are well aware. Park Avenue has rich and historical traditions, it is a melting pot that unities, City Hall's decision to obliterate it will bring about a great divide. Bourassa has no place on Park Avenue, you might say that that not everyone who lives or works on Park is against the idea. I would be willing to wager that those in favour are overwhelmingly in the minority. I would recommend you read Josh Freed's Column in the Gazette. I quote " Park Avenue is a heritage zone and who ever destroys it will be remembered and resented for a very long time" I call upon everyone to publically state their position on the issue, whether you are in favour or not. I learned right from wrong early on in life. City Hall's approch to this whole ordeal is just plain wrong, I believe we all can make a differance, Saving Park Avenue is a just and noble cause.
   comment by Nikos on October 21, 2006


She's turned her back on the neighbourhood where she grew up in, the day she got elected. It is apparent that she places the security of her job and her standing in the executive committee above the interest of her constituents. Fotopoulos is the MAYOR'S PUPPET, instead of being the voice of the people she has become a selfish, unapproachable autocrat who has lost her way. The only name she should be changing is her own, to Helen Puppetopulos. Come next election, let's all cut her strings and send her back where she belongs.

   comment by Nikos on October 22, 2006

L’avenue du Parc tire son nom du fait qu’elle longe en partie le parc Mont-Royal, entre l’avenue des Pins et l’avenue du Mont-Royal. Le nom de Park Avenue lui fut attribué en 1883 et ce n’est qu’en 1961 qu’on permit officiellement de traduire ce nom en Avenue du Parc. Ce toponyme demeure l’un des rares à Montréal où le spécifique français et le spécifique anglais demeurent tous deux en usage.
   comment by Nikos on October 22, 2006

Please come to sign our online petition. We already have about 1000 signatures in less than 60 hours.

Venez signer notre pétition en ligne. Nous avons déjà près de 1000 signatures, moins de 60 heures après le lancement.
   comment by Avenue du Parc Saviours on October 23, 2006

Erect a stutue somewhere, but keep Parc. But most importantly, how about asking the people what they think before bulldozing over their rights?
   comment by Lateef Martin on October 23, 2006

Is anyone else shocked that Chris Dye hasn't commented on what an embourassament it would be to the city if Parc were renamed?
   comment by goodladd on October 23, 2006

I didn't comment because I worried it would encourage people to keep posting and bourassa bit more with this topic. What's with these people and their Landry list of complaints, some of which were Sauvé-gue you couldn't take them seriously: the "culture" of Parc Avenue would be affected? Please! And rather than posting on Sillytech, why don't they just write to their city counsellor or Lévesque ouple of messages on their answering machines? The other thing is, I can't tell if it's a lot of different people posting or just a single Parizeaulots posting under many different names.

And let's face it, no matter how much people complain, the city is Gouin to change the name, anyway. What difference does it make to the people on Parc Avenue, whether they be Marchands with stores or Parents living in their Duplessis?

But maybe I'm wrong. You never can be Char, est? So here's my suggestion: we print out these posts, a-Tashcereau-n thoughts, and send it to the mayor.

   comment by chrisdye on October 24, 2006

My name is Bryce Durafourt, and I am a 19 year old McGill student. In November 2005, at the age of 18, I ran in the elections for the position of city councillor in Saint-Laurent. I was not elected, but I am trying to continue to ensure that decisions like that to rename Parc Avenue are not made behind closed doors without citizen consultation. I am currently working on having my political party, New Era Montreal, authorized by the government. I urge you to visit our website at Thank you.
   comment by Bryce Durafourt on October 25, 2006

Jolly good show, Mr Dye!
   comment by goodladd on October 26, 2006

Renaming streets are an enormous expense and HASSLE for everyone. Name a statue,monument or park after whomever you want but eventually we'll run out of parks and places to put all the statues. People are remembered in OUR HEARTS-if they have TOUCHED us in some way! Leave PARK AVE. and other streets as they are!
   comment by Linda Parr on October 28, 2006

leave park ave alone. it is part of our great city's history . Tremblay should consider Miron Garbage dump .that would be more appropriate for a man of bourasse's stature.
   comment by Ronald H Pilon on November 16, 2006

Obituary: Democracy will be deeply missed
She lay there motionless in City hall, sprawled on the floor in clear view of everyone, breathing still on Tuesday morning; she was exhausted from the crowds of visitors the night before. Some loyal friends who claimed to have known her well were still at her side, hoping that she could still be saved.

Some had spent the night praying; thousands had spent the weeks earlier searching for any solution, any compromise that would allow her to live. Pleading with the people in power to listen to their suggestions. But most pleas fell upon deaf ears. Every cold shoulder represented another nail in her coffin.

Just before 1pm, in the great hall, we could feel her pulse was getting weaker. Her condition was deteriorating with each councilors vote. “Yes…yes…yes…” They were the final words she would hear before passing on.

Mourners gasped in shock; slow to accept that she was gone. In the minutes that followed, some would even deny she ever existed. But they were wrong. She had existed, and in her time she was the most beautiful thing imaginable. Drawing people from all over the world to Montreal.

And she exists still, in other places, helping people everyday. In her fairness, she is a guiding light, and perhaps someday she will return to Montreal. Perhaps she can even restore the Park Avenue name. But for now, this is my epitaph for Democracy in Montreal.

Mario Rizzi
   comment by Mario Rizzi on December 2, 2006

Luckily, overwrought hyperbole is alive and well.
   comment by alex on December 3, 2006

   comment by Nikolaos Karabineris on February 7, 2007


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