Environmental Justice Project
By Isabelle Plante
April 3, 2023
0:00 / 13:52
Environmental Justice Project
Izzy Plante

My name is Isabelle Plante and this is my environmental justice project: Greenfield Parks not so green.

In the early 1960s, the Municipality of Greenfield Park annexed land in St. Hubert located northeast of Taschereau Boulevard. From that point on, Greenfield Park was considered to be divided into two sectors. Old Greenfield Park, written in gold and new Greenfield Park written in pink. In 2001, the Force Municipal mergers put an end to Greenfield Park's independent municipal status and brought it under the Longueuil.

In the second map, we can see the city of Longueuil. Greenfield Park is in Mustard Brown, St. Hubert is in blue and Vieux Longueuil is in green. The borough of Greenfield park covers a surface area of 4.6 kilometers, squared. Since it is almost entirely urbanized development in the borough is limited In 2018, its population was estimated at just under 17,000.

Greenfield Park is a wonderful place to raise a family and to retire to. It offers many amenities and is a safe neighborhood close to the metropolitan city of Montreal. However, there are environmental justice issues that need to be addressed.

The following five points will be discussed in regards to Greenfield Park's largest community park, Empire Park.

Before I address these injustices, I need to give some historical context. We begin with the discussion of the Golden Age of industrialization in Montreal around the turn of the century.

Montreal was a booming city in 1860. Montreal was the largest city in British North America, and it was the economic and cultural center of Canada.

French from the countryside and immigrants from Ireland, Italy, and Eastern Europe, came to work on the Montreal LaChine Canal, the railroad along the canal, and the Victoria Bridge across the St. Lawrence River to the south.

These workers live close to the canal in the cramped neighborhoods of Griffin town and Point St. Charles life in Griffintown was hard. Housing was shoddy and cramped, allowing diseases like typhus, smallpox, cholera to spread easily. Most families did not have running water. The canal brought sewage and contaminated water near or even in people's homes. As immigration continued the housing situation, only deteriorated.

These slum light conditions affected the health of the community and contributed to Montreal having the worst infant mortality rate in the country, less than five miles away. Across the St. Lawrence River, the land was being used either for agriculture, was abandoned or overgrown with Bush.