I went out for some morning intervals in Parc Levesque, as I am want to do, and was horrified to see what had happened to the grounds of the park. The City of Lachine has sold out. Big time. I arrived at the park around 6.30 a.m. having warmed up nicely on the 10 km journey outbound. The 750 metre ‘entrance’ to the park is brilliant in the early morning as you have the sun directly behind you.
All seemed normal at this stage in the proceedings. But as I neared the park gates I could sense that something was up. I am not sure if it was the fifty ATVs that were parker neatly on a 45 degree angle that gave it away, or the glimpse of steel fence that seemed to surround the middle ‘island’ of the park, that tipped me off first, but this was going to be different.
Indeed, what I saw as I rode through the main entrance gates made me almost come right off the bike. The beautiful central island of Parc Levesque had been totally cordoned off with industrial grade 8′ high steel fencing. Inside the perimeter was a new landscape that included 18-wheeler trucks, tents of all shapes and sizes, and many more ATV-type vehicles on display stands. The grass leading through the temporary gates in the new fence was missing, replaced instead with the worn through muddy tracks that hundreds of repeat visits with a heavy vehicle will produce.
Now if this was not bad enough, as I rode down the north side of the loop and stared with utter disbelief at the mayhem on the inside, my eyes were treated to yet more shocking discoveries. A dirt track had been built through the arboretum and through the park, complete with mud hills, sharp corners and advertising hoardings and billboards. Where was the lush green grass that was here only a few days ago? Where was my park?
I don’t know how much money the City of Lachine sold out for, but I am hoping that part of the cost of this enterprise includes returning the park to its original state. I would hate to think that once the ATV circus has left we are going to have to stare at this mud bath for the next several months. Although I can’t imagine what it is going to take to return the lawn to its former lushness.
I can’t believe that I don’t have a picture of this madness to share with you all. I was so stunned that I didn’t think to take one, but I’ll be heading back there probably tomorrow morning and so if the madness is still in town I’ll document it.