Park Exers treated to a BIG Canada Day celebration

Large crowd converges on Place de la Gare for birthday party

Park Exers treated to a BIG Canada Day celebration
Organizers of Park Extension’s celebration of Canada’s 152nd birthday prepare to cut into the Canada Day cakes at Place de la Gare last July 1.
Martin C. Barry

One of the biggest Canada Day celebrations Park Extension has seen in years took place in Place de la Gare at the corner of Jean Talon St. and Hutchison Ave. on Monday July 1.

What a difference

It was a party that stood in stark contrast to a local Canada Day “non-event” that took place on July 1 three years ago.

At that time, Place de la Gare was a very lonely place to be on the country’s birthday because of an oversight that resulted in no major celebration being held that year in a riding which is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s home territory.

Park Exers treated to a BIG Canada Day celebration
Park Extension’s celebration of Canada Day was also an opportunity for many to show pride in their multicultural origins.

Bangladeshi initiative

However, the Park Extension-based National Bangladeshi-Canadian Council (NBCC) has taken the initiative and stepped forward to see that a Canada Day event is organized each year worthy of the occasion.

With the NBCC’s help, Canada Day in Park Ex has become bigger and happier each year. This year and last year, a large stage was provided by the City of Montreal. There were also two large Canada Day birthday cakes.

Park Exers treated to a BIG Canada Day celebration
Members of a children’s choir performed on the stage set up for Canada Day celebrations in Park Extension’s Place de la Gare.

Greetings from the PM

“There are many communities involved today – Indians, Peruvians, Columbians, Greeks,” said Monir Hossain, president of the NBCC. Justin Trudeau’s riding office sent two attachés, Rose Clermont-Petit and Rana Sayeh, who read out a letter of greetings from the Prime Minister.

It was a big party with all the multicultural Canadian communities to be found in Montreal’s Parc-Extension district. Thousands of people attended, with their children dressed in red and white on the lawns outside Provigo, the large super market next to the Parc Metro station.

Park Exers treated to a BIG Canada Day celebration
Longtime Park Exer Irene Liberopoulos demonstrated her national pride on July 1, Canada Day.

A day to show pride

Flags of Canada floated as the local community sang the Canadian national anthem in the presence of many children. There was music with a free barbecue and Canada Day-themed cakes made by Provigo’s bakers.

All in all, the day represented a chance for those present to show pride in their origins, as seen within Canadian history as a generation of Canadians, being the bridge and link from the present to the future to unite multicultural and Canadian communities.