Spring Cleaning Comes Early to Montreal: A Look at Parc-Extension and Beyond

Spring Cleaning Comes Early to Montreal: A Look at Parc-Extension and Beyond

In the heart of Montreal, an unexpected early thaw has unveiled a less-than-pleasant sight across its boroughs, including Parc-Extension. As the snow melts away, the city’s streets and public spaces have been left littered with the remnants of winter’s neglect. The City of Montreal, under the guidance of the Plante administration, is pushing forward its annual spring cleaning efforts in response to the premature arrival of spring-like conditions.

Maja Vodanovic, a member of the city’s executive committee and the mayor of Lachine, has been at the forefront of addressing the sudden need for a citywide cleanup. The city is scrambling to rent street sweepers earlier than the contracts anticipated and is looking for ways to clear the streets before the onset of parking restrictions that facilitate cleaning operations, traditionally starting April 1st.

The sight of garbage surfacing before the first blooms of spring has become a stark reminder of the challenges facing Montreal’s central boroughs, including Parc-Extension which has suffered in the past with garbage and cleanliness problems greatly. “The trash comes out before the flowers,” Vodanovic observed, highlighting the impressive amount of waste cluttering public spaces. With the snow melting a month and a half earlier than usual, the city’s snow removal crews have swiftly transitioned to cleaning sidewalks and parks, sometimes manually, sometimes with motorized vacuums.

However, the task is daunting, as the rental of specialized cleaning equipment was not scheduled to begin until April. The city is now attempting to expedite the delivery of street sweepers to mid-March, hopeful but aware of the tight timeline. Vodanovic has also hinted at considering alternate parking measures to aid the cleaning process, though details remain to be finalized.

The opposition at City Hall, represented by Stéphanie Valenzuela of the official opposition, has expressed skepticism regarding the city’s preparedness and has called for more permanent solutions. For years, Ensemble Montréal has advocated for the installation of closed garbage cans and the expansion of cleanliness brigades to operate year-round, seven days a week.

In the meantime, Vodanovic encourages Montrealers to take matters into their own hands by cleaning up their immediate surroundings. This small-scale community effort could set a positive example and counteract the actions of those who litter.

As the cleanup effort extends across Montreal, neighborhoods like Parc-Extension face a long month of cleaning ahead. The community’s involvement and the city’s accelerated response to the early thaw highlight the shared responsibility of maintaining the cleanliness and livability of our urban spaces. The early onset of spring cleaning this year may serve as a wake-up call for better planning and community engagement in preserving the beauty of Montreal’s diverse boroughs.