The antithesis of individual success

Photo: Pedro Ruiz The Duty
Judith Cayer, project manager and development team 7 to us, walking through the vast spaces of the ground floor with his son. The first phase of the project, Building 7, you can renovate this large industrial building largely glazed to accommodate 13 projects of the most diverse.

This mini-series published during the Holiday season highlights the workers of the shadow of some of the successes of the year 2017. Second judgment : Building 7, an area of 90 000 square feet of full conversion. The project is focused for more than a decade by a beating heart collective, and its benefits will be just as much.

Impossible for Judith Cayerde take the credit for this success, fully confirmed last April, when a group of citizens has finally got the keys to a former rail yard of Pointe-Saint-Charles.


“I disparaîtrais tomorrow morning and the project would continue, it is safe, because it has taken the opposite path. It is the antithesis of the success of a single person, ” she says.


In 2003, a group of residents of the neighborhood planted a flag on the site of the Canadian National (CN). The operation was popular and symbolic to claim the development of services aimed at the citizens of the neighborhood and prevent their complete privatization.


Throughout the years that will follow, they will remain the “small players” in the reconversion of this industrial area, which represent about one-third of the territory of Pointe-Saint-Charles.


Fourteen years later, those small players find themselves supervising a construction site : two-storey plasterboard, planks and pieces of metal of any kind. Here, too, the general contractor will leave soon the place to the building. The collective is registered as a builder-owner to be able to perform the final finishing step, among other things, through use of recycled materials.

Photo: Pedro Ruiz The Duty
Ms. Cayer is part of the civic engagement since its beginnings and has “held up” in more difficult times. It would, however, like to bring this success to all those who have contributed to this, just like Caroline Monast-Landriault (not pictured).

“We pushed our luck on just about everything,” admits over the noise of the fans newly established Ms. Cayer, project manager, and development. The Collective 7 to we was formalised in a non-profit organization in 2009, focusing on the recovery project of the building.


The hub of activities, social, artistic, political, commercial and open in spring 2018. The carcass of the building finally to him, the Collective has undertaken to dwell in gradually by this “unlikely alliance” of several circles.


The projects were developed collectively on the basis of the “direct needs of the people of the district, to provide open spaces that are not thought to be able to exist,” describes Caroline Monast-Landriault, in charge of communication.

In addition to the people who were telling us “you’ll never get there”, he had to wonder if she was doing a project for a neighbourhood that we would no longer have the means to live
Julie Cayer, project manager, and development

Workshops of screen printing, bicycle, ceramic, metal, digital print, wood, as well as a community garage, an art school, a dark room and a grocery store self-managed, have gradually integrated the locations. The Grand Workshop will also provide a place on the second floor, a space which remains open to find uses more versatile.


A cooperative of young, Press Start, has also managed to raise over $ 10,000 in sociofinancement to the house of the young “version of self” laughs Ms. Monast-Landriault.


In one of the divisions already created, it shows the vats of brewing wisely waiting on the start of production of the Free-Tavern. “Instead of a simple nut in the machine, it is built of decent jobs, our scale,” she said, as a member of this co-op micro-brewery.


Inexhaustible challenges


Social mobilization is in the DNA of the neighborhood at the history especially of the workers. But it took “to feel the limits of the possible and push them back,” explains Judith Cayer.


“Not because we are slingers, but because the constraints are so restrictive ! “


For example, it cites the fact that these former railway workshops should simply be razed according to the first plan to redevelop the site of the CN.


The embourgoisement fast Griffintown, the neighbouring district, razed and rebuilt without any community space, has also posed another challenge without resolution easy : “most of the people who said “you’ll never get there”, he had to wonder if she was doing a project for a neighbourhood that we would no longer have the means to live in “, drops the project manager.


Nothing less sexy that the paperwork between décontaminations, departments and grant applications, and tell the stories of two women.


But the goal was big enough to stand guard or to give a boost at the right time. “This is a project to invent the society of tomorrow, to experiment with other circuits of exchange, production and management. When one is with people who are ready to make the bet meet our own needs and to obtain a margin of autonomy and freedom, it is a proposition that can and must be embraced by anyone, anywhere. “


Weft human already existed, the challenges, themselves, arise each day, and this is where all the incredible of their success. The next will be to expand “the heart,” repeated Caroline, with an entire ecosystem. To accommodate more than 100 people, to ensure that they contribute to the bold Building 7, it is already accept to “re-invent themselves as personally or collectively,” says Judith.


Upon leaving the Building 7, a car slows down while turning on the street The Ber, to salute Judith and Caroline.


Behind the section under renovation, approximately two-thirds of the building are still posted great plywood. Only the first phase of conversion has indeed found its funding. The pole health, which includes a birth house, and the food, who dream of a greenhouse, yet to support it. Caroline Monast-Landriault promises in spite of all that the beer will be ready in the spring. And it will be good.


The Building 7 in full conversion will open its doors in 2018 after 14 years of popular struggles.

Share Button