Leaving Hochelaga

I’m moving to a new neighborhood this weekend. For six years I’ve called this little slice of Ste-Catherine street home, and now we’re moving up to the other side of Sherbrooke. I’ve seen a lot of changes in this once gritty, crime riddled neighborhood. A changing demographic hints at gentrification, as does the parting of prostitutes that used to be a daily “bonjour” for me. (Hey they’re people too, just trying to get through the day like all of us.) No, they are gone now, and in their place we see construction sites erecting condo after condo. The area east of Pie IX has really taken off suggesting that Hochelaga will indeed become the next plateau.

But there’s one thing I’ll never miss. Lallemand. In case you weren’t aware, they make yeast and they have a factory in the area (Moreau and La Fontaine) that creates the most horrific odors. Gag inducing odors. Our first place was a block from the stink factory and we lasted a year there, driven out by the extreme intensity of the smell on hot summer days. Still, even after moving 10 blocks away, if the wind blows just right, the smell will invade the neighborhood.

Saying goodbye to this warm yet quirky neighborhood is tough. I’m going to miss the run down markets and funky shops on Ontario st. Now I’ll be shopping at that giant Loblaws on Rachel and truth be told, I feel a little guilty. To sum it up, this move is bittersweet.

1 Comment so far

  1. Frank (unregistered) on October 10th, 2006 @ 5:21 pm

    I work not far from there and I always thought the yeast smell was coming from the Molsen brewery near the JC bridge. Didn’t realize it was coming from a different direction. I’ll try to pay better attention to the wind direction when those scents float by.

    I also noticed a strong sweet smell coming from the sugar silos near Pie IX and Notre Dame. Much better than the concentrated flour smell near Five Roses.

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