Cooling Canopy

Paul Lévesque, who was invited to join the garden by a friend, said pitching in brings him a lot of pleasure.

He lives in the neighborhood and takes a bus to the Voisinerie to volunteer there most days.

“It’s good for the environment,” he said.

He points out vines they’re growing to help create more shade.

The Îlot Pelletier project, completed in 2018, is part of a movement in Quebec to curb the heat island effect in low-income neighborhoods.

The City of Montreal also has a heat wave response plan, which includes a host of measures including extended pool hours, emergency cooling shelters and targeted door-to-door checks in vulnerable neighborhoods.

But projects like the park in Montreal North focus less on crisis response and more on prevention, by making neighborhoods more climate resilient.

The initiative was led by community organization Parole d’excluEs, in partnership with ILEAU, an urban development program run by non-profit organization CRE-Montréal.

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