Voices from the Clay

Goose Village Scene

A Goose Village residence photographed shortly before demolition. (Archives de la Ville de Montréal)

Voices from the Clay: A History of Goose Village in Montreal [working title]

Thanks to a grant from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, I am researching a small area of Montreal once known as Goose Village.  The text is faint, but one may “read” this landscape for a tumultuous story of urban development over 200 years.

Goose Village is now a parking lot and industrial brownfield, but over the centuries, social, cultural, and economic processes have repeatedly transformed it. Marshy common land gave way to quarantine sheds where Irish immigrants died by the thousands; a working-class neighborhood evolved, isolated from the rest of the city by railroad lines and industrial sites; the entire neighborhood fell victim to slum clearance, demolished to make way for an Expo 67 stadium; and the stadium met the wrecking ball only a few years later.

Today the few physical vestiges of Goose Village’s past function as sites of memory for former residents, artists, and an Irish heritage group.

Status: This research will have two incarnations: (1) an interactive web documentary; and (2) an article.  I’m now in the process of editing the documentary.