Last night I had to go to Les Ateliers du Théâtre de l’Île in Hull and pick up materials to do paint samples, so I decided to check out uncharted territory further north in and around the mysterious Parc Laurent-Groulx.
Les Ateliers is a wonderful facility, housing a wood shop, a wardrobe, two rehearsal spaces and storage space for all of Théâtre de l’Île‘s props and furniture. Originally a fire station, renovations were recently made to enhance the exterior of the building.
I’ve always been intrigued by this building across the street from Les Ateliers for its diverse mix of renovations. Each of the three stepped sections overlap, indicative of the changes it has undergone over time. The section to the left has kept many of its original details. The stone work on the ground floor in the centre section seems to be original as well. The addition on the right is all new, while remaining sympathetic to the original building with its red brick and stone corners.
Years ago a friend and I were sitting right about where the above photo was taken, when we witnessed a crazy series of events reminiscent of the Keystone Kops. Police cars pulled up in front of the building, then officers jumped out and went in one of the white doors. Suddenly a man burst out of the alley to the right and started running down the sidewalk to the left with an officer in hot pursuit with his gun drawn, yelling at the guy to get down on the ground face first or else. Thankfully he did. They cuffed him and hauled him away in the back of a police car. Zoicks!
At the corner of Boulevard St-Raymond and Rue Joffre sits this climbing gym in one of the cleverest church conversions I’ve ever seen. Lots of open vertical space designed to encourage higher levels of existence in both cases – one spiritual, the other physical. By going to this link and by clicking on the word ‘church’ above the image, you can see a short slide show of the church being constructed in 1927.
Parc Laurent-Groulx is identified on my printed MapArt but not on Google Maps, however its layout can be distinguished from this satellite shot.
After covering residential streets to the north I ventured into the park from it’s principal access on Rue Gamelin. Biking along gravel paths I came across three mysterious old buildings. The first was this impressive brick structure to the east, with it’s windows boarded up.
The second was this old structure in the northern section, boarded up as well, an obvious victim of fire.
The last was this grey stone structure in the centre of the park with all windows intact.
The parks landscaping and lighting are well maintained, however I couldn’t find anything on the history of the park and its buildings, either on site or on-line. The mystery continues. I exited along Rue Richelieu which is quite a wide street suggesting it may have been designed as an avenue leading up to the park.
Lots to ponder as I wove my way home under a big bright moon. Here it is above the National Archives building.