Friday, May 1, 2009

Save Dupuis Park

UPDATE The Gazette now reports that the city is also restricting access to Rutherford Park, the green space atop the McTavish reservoir just south of Pine Ave. at University. Could this have something to do with the fact that people keep documenting how easy it is to get into the filtration plants?

The Gazette reports that without a word of warning, much less public consultation, the city has decided to close Dupuis Park, a four-hectacre green space that sits atop the Atwater filtration plant's water reservoirs.
The city says the park, where locals run, fly kites and play soccer and other sports, was never officially a park. Funny, because it is listed among Verdun borough's parks on the city web site.
Area residents told The Gazette that the non-park's soccer nets and baseball diamonds were removed about 10 days ago.
The city has tried to dodge responsibility, with Verdun saying the green space actually lies within the borders of neighboring Sud-Ouest and Sud-Ouest saying Verdun has long agreed to maintain the park because its three public access points are on Verdun territory.
Now the story is that the green space is the private property of the water filtration plant. The plant will allow some controlled access by sporting associations, but the days of wandering into Dupuis Park for a jog, a picnic or to admire the city skyline are over.
Perhaps they thought no one would mind. They thought wrong. A citizens' group has started organizing to save the park. You can find out how to help and sign a petition at

Paul Beaupré, who looks like he has never flown a kite or picnicked in a park in his life, represents the Verdun district in which Dupuis Park is or isn't located. His number is 765-7010 His email is The next borough council meeting is at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 5. The address is 4555 Verdun Ave.

Michel Mérette
is the manager of the Atwater filtration plant. I can't seem to find a phone number for him.

If you don't get satisfcation from either of them, you can, as a last resort, file a complaint with Montreal's go-get-'em ombudsman, Johanne Savard at (514) 872-8999 or


  1. Hi, thanks for this article about Parc Dupuis. No wonder you can't reach Michel Merette; the city is hiding him. The 311 operators have received instructions to refuse giving out a phone number or address for him, and simply say that there are security considerations.

    Regarding Paul Beaupré, I have talked with him at length and he is a decent fellow (his son actually plays Ultimate Frisbee on the park.) Problem is: the Dupuis park is not on Verdun territory, but in the Sud-Ouest borough. Verdun representatives were kept in the dark, just like us.

    I think that Verdun citizens must nonetheless go the May 5 (7 p.m.) council and demand that Verdun pass a resolution requesting that the Executive Committee commit to investing in security at the Atwater plant and recognize that allowing the public to use Dupuis park is compatible with that goal.

  2. Hi Albert, Thanks for your response. I based my reaction to him on the fact that he refused to return any calls from the gazette's reporter last week.
    I went on a guided walk of Point St. Charles last weekend. At the end, I suggested that everyone visit your website and sign the petition. One of the tour guides, a community activist, actually sided with the city on this issue - while pointing out that Parc Dupuis is in Sud Ouest, not Verdun. Whatever! She says all that soccer and frisbee could cause a cave-in into the reservoir. Ridiculous. I think it has more to do with the city being embarrassed about lax security in the buildings. I will try to get to the meeting tonight. À bientôt!


Hi, in an effort to cut down on spam, I will now be moderating comments prior to publication. If you're a real person with a real comment or question, I'll get to you as soon as I can. Thanks!