Sunday, December 13, 2020

post-industrial dreams / art/ play

A character in my novel Five Roses squats in one of the towers of an abandoned industrial complex along the Lachine Canal in Montreal. 

I don't identify the building in the novel, nor is the architectural layout exactly alike, but in my mind I thought of Canada Malting. Among the derelict edifices along the canal--many of them still there in the years when I was writing the novel--Canada Malting was the only one with towers and silos as high as I imagined my characters climbing. 

Important in the novel is the watchman's cabin, which reminds Rose of her cabin in the woods (and reminds me of the cabin my father built, where our family used to spend weekends and summers).  

I was delighted to notice a year ago that the watchman's cabin on Canada Malting (still abandoned) was refurbished with a coat of pink paint and windowboxes. This year, for Xmas, an intrepid group of artists have painted the shed behind the cabin red and erected a Christmas tree they decorated. This has even made the news. (Something other than Covid-19!) The article is in French but have a look at the closeup photos and drone footage of the pink and red cabins and tree. The gift box is addressed to St-Henri, the neighbourhood below Canada Malting.

As a footnote: take pictures when doing research. It's good to have them!

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