Saturday, June 29, 2013


I thought I had a great idea 
but because I am STILL waiting for an authorization... 
(that'll teach me...) 
I can't use this perfect idea where you would have seen:
a grotto, 
the church of my teens... 
a geologic catastrophe 
and a fool fit to be tied, 
all having a common denominator... 
So I literally had to pull something out of my ass, 
(something I don't appreciate...), 
for this week's Sepia Saturday at the very last minute. 
I even ate a[n awful] frozen dinner not to waste any time!!! 
So I started thinking about caves, 
holes in the ground. 
Golf courses with a hole-in-one?!? 
Seedy places with a "hole-in-the-wall"?... 
Since I was pulling this out of my ass, 
why not stretch it to the max, 
and give you: 

This place is well known to Montrealers: 
the Miron Quarry.

This district had been exploited as a quarry for decades under various names, 
and since the 1920s, 
many mergers were involved here, 
but in 1947, 
the Miron brothers bought their first site 
and by the mid 19450s, 
kept on adding to it, 
to become one of the major players in this industry.

This factory provided much needed material for the building of Montreal. 
Many landmarks have been built with material coming from there, 
such as the Place Ville Marie
which I've previously shown you here
and the St Lawrence Seaway, 
shown here, 
and also the Central Station here.

Imagine the noise of all of these trucks going by, 
the dynamite blasts necessary to extract the limestone, 
then turned into sand, crushed stones, asphalt, cement,  
and concrete pipes and blocks as well; 
the dust and also whatever came out of those smokestacks... 
I pity the neighbors, 
and this wasn't the worse they would see. 
But I've read that there was a certain pride to work there 
because people realized they were helping the city become what it was back then, 
a shining metropole. 
We are no longer the country's metropole, 
but we still have our pride.

You can see the Metropolitan highway running to its south, 
on the left. 
In my youth, 
I'd often pass by and notice those smokestacks. 
The company closed in 1986 and these were pull down in 1988, 
I believe... 
You would think the neighbors would get a respite. 
Well, no!!! 
The place was redeemed as a landfill for domestic garbage. 
It started in 1966 until it was acquired by the city in 1988 
who continued until 2000, 
when garbage was directed towards other landfills.

Imagine the mess!!! 
The unsightly view, 
the smell, 
the noise from the [500-1000 daily] trucks and the million of birds... 
Definitely not a plus in the real estate business. 
And those biogas emanating from such places have always been a concern for the population. 
And over the years, 
while there is a recycling center on site, 
there is now also La Tohu who has an establishment there for circus acts, 
and community services and a park. 
Old remnants can still be seen from the old industry, 
a reminder of the district's past. 
I didn't live in that neighborhood, 
but I remember the 1972 strike by city workers 
and the garbage was not colected, 
piling up high in the parks. 
My friends and I couldn't play at the park because of the stench, 
and the rats!!! 
What a mess!! 
I've always had esteem for those who did this job.

Mentalities sure have changed about garbage management since I was a kid... 
Back then, 
you just threw everything in the garbage cans 
and it was collected twice weekly. 
Careful what you throw away... 
The symbol above is now familiar 
but originated from the 1970s by environmentalists 
while recycling was at its lowest. 
Since then, 
regulations have been established for the recycling of paper and cardboard, 
plastic and metals, 
among other things. 
Techniques have also improved 
and repurposing those new materials has wider possibilities. 
It is now normal to see products made out of those recycled materials, 
and we don't think any less of them. 
It only makes sense to recycle.

I remember, 
back in the late '80s, 
when I moved in my first appartment downtown, 
not my first appartment, 
but first time downtown, 
only a few things were recyled 
and I had to drop them in one of those huge [weird] container a few streets away. 
What a chore but I did it!! 
Then trucks started to collect our recycling but we had to divide everything into 3 categories: 
I just dump everything in a large container 
and it gets sorted out at the recycling center. 
I am pleased to do my little part. 
Of course, 
shopping wisely to avoid overpackaging and bringing your own shopping bags 
diminishes our overuse of plastics.

We should all do our part!! 

I met my deadline with only [13] minutes to spare!!! 
Sorry if I had to drag you through dust and garbage. 
I found myself in a hole and barely managed to dig myself out of there, 
in the nick of time
I promise to be ready for next week!! 
Please join other Sepians at 
for a lot of fun and discoveries. 


  1. Recycling does certainly make good sense, and in my opinion doesn't take a lot of effort, opnce you have the mindset, but I am continually suprised by the number of people who just can't be bothered. That's a wonderful image of the man on his trike with the mountain of plastic bottles on top.

    1. There will always be folks that will not do an iota to help,
      but they'll be first to scream when shit hits the fan...
      When I lived with my parents, they didn't bother.
      When I got my first apartment, they'd visit and see how I would dispose of things,
      and they eventually started doing it.
      Some say you can't teach an old dog new tricks.
      I beg to differ!!

  2. I agree - great image. What annoys me here is that the people who do recycle (well done!) don't bother to squash down the huge plastic water containers. We take ours to a collection point nearby and it's often overflowing, so then folk leave them on the ground to blow around in the wind (which we get a lot of here) making a mess and a lot of noise. I rather enjoy jumping on the bottles ! And dear TB I'm full of admiration for where you stored the above post - literally :)

    1. From the shadows it crept out!!!
      I didn't know I had it in me...
      I fold my cardboard, I rinse all my glass, metal and plastics.
      I even disassemble things, like my coffeemaker to get pieces of plastic or metal...
      but I do not squash anything!!!
      You'll have to come over to squash my O.J. jugs...

  3. A fine post - but I expect nothing less from you. And even if you hadn't managed to pull that quarry from wherever you pulled it, you could have recycled one of your old posts.

    1. I don't mind connecting to previous posts,
      but I like to come in with a fresh approach...
      I just didn't expect to do it in so short a time.
      If that guy I was waiting on for the permission to use his picture ever write,
      I won't tell him to f*ck off but I will say "thanks for nothing, you're too late!!"
      I will try to rely on my own stuff and the McCord.
      It has never let me down before...

  4. You are a clever clogs indeed to pull that from where you pulled it. It was a tough one this week wasn't it?

    1. Actually, my original idea was all set in my mind,
      and I was giggling at the funny twist in it.
      I wasn't laughing when I had to move on to Plan B...
      But at least, I got to defend an issue that is important to me.
      I only wish I had had more time to refine the text...
      I was a little too emotional while I wrote it.
      I should find my aplomb by next week!!
      Nothing will come out from where the sun never shines...

  5. That's a HUGE quarry. In the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia there are many small quarries, but nothing like what you pictured here. Some beautiful blue limestone went to build my alma mater, James Madison University.

    Funny thing about landfills -- in Virginia Beach many years ago, the landfill was very controversial. When the landfill was full, they made it into a park called Mt. Trashmore. It's beautiful and popular. I bet many people aren't even aware of why it's called Mt. TRASHmore.

    I try to do my part with recycling and am glad the City has given us a BIG wheeled container because it makes it easier and convenient. I probably don't recycle all that's eligible because I haven't taken the time to keep the list handy or in my head. We can all do better.

    1. Blue limestone? Must be nice!!

      Fridge magnets exist for a reason,
      to keep that list on your fridge!!...
      Mine is in a clip where I also keep restaurants pamphlets,
      but I know it pretty much by heart,
      various types of plastics that are eligible in my district, or not, etc...

      Funny anecdote about Mt Trashmore!!
      Love it!!

  6. Video took me right back to Detroit early 1970s and the invasion of heroin and the junkies. talk about a hole.

    i bet the neighborhood looked back on the days of the quarry with special fondness after it became a huge dump. How depressing.

    1. Neither scenarios made for a comfortable situation,
      but at least, when it was a quarry, there was a positive outcome.
      Thankfully, the place is getting revitalized
      and I hope people will reclaim this place as their own.

  7. We still have a list on the recycling containers of things that shouldn't go in recycling, but I suspect that I am the only person in my building that reads it.

    1. Same thing here, some folks throw garbage in there, making it stink,
      and often contaminating everything else.
      But given the number of containers we have lined up in the parking lot,
      I daresay it is a success.

  8. The picture of that quarry immediately brought to mind the old rock quarry not too far from where we lived when I was growing up. It had been 'recycled' & turned into to a dump. Every once in a while Dad would have to make a run to the dump. It smelled awful, there were flies everywhere, & it was kind of eerie driving around all the big piles of garbage, but whenever Dad asked if any of us kids wanted to go to the dump with him, we always yelled "YES!" & raced to the car. Go figure???

    1. Given its unusual nature,
      I'll venture it sounded to you just as exciting as if he had said:
      "How about a trip to the moon!!"

  9. Initially I thought you were taking us to an open cut power station.

    We visited Butchart Gardens in Canada a number of years ago, which was fantastic and a perfect example of what can be done with unused quarries.

    1. I googled it and found the place and its history fascinating.
      It makes me think of another garden that is here in the province of Quebec,
      and part of a family tradition as well, the Reford Family:
      Have a look when you have the time.

  10. A fine post, considering where you say it originated. Took me back to my years in Ottawa. Canada is FAR ahead of the US in the recycling program. I remember the blue tubs on Wednesdays and the black tubs on Mondays or was it the other way around?

    1. While I know what you are referring to,
      I couldn't confirm as it goes way too far back for me,
      because I've spent most of my adult life in huge buildings;
      but I seem to remember that it was Tuesdays and Thursdays
      in my parents' district...
      Humans generate so much garbage that I consider it obscene
      for someone to neglect to recycle, at least...

  11. Nice post. We had a "dump" in Winnipeg that they turned into a park and renamed. Didn't work...everybody continued to call the park, "the dump", but nostalgically and affectionately. Every time I make a trip to the recycling center, there's some new advancement in the disposal area. After visiting India early this year, I came home in deeper appreciation for how we manage our waste overall. We take it all for granted until you go somewhere without as much technology, money and education.

    1. Yet we can't ignore what happens elsewhere as pollution and contamination rarely remains stagnant in one place. And you can hardly expect populations that live in survival mode to care that much about polluting, even if it would be beneficial to them in the long run...

      I am glad to have seen a change in mentality among my peers in this regard. Quebec has always been forward in certain areas, the environment being one of our main concerns.

  12. Fine post -- from the quarry pics to the recycling (loved the guy on the bicycle with the huge bages or recycled stuff. But what really got to me was the reminder that I too waited for permission for a perfect photo -- too late, and so now I wait for another opportunity to recycle.

    1. I hear you!! I've put that folder aside, waiting for a next opportunity.
      That picture of the Chinese guy is certainly a stunner!!

  13. Quarries are such ugly places, but so necessary. It's always hard to wrap my brain around them. And then there's the huge hole in the ground right next to the freeway in Gillette, Wyoming. I was stunned the first time I saw it. It's an exposed coal mine. Monstrous thing. It made me feel sick just looking at it.

    I've been recycling for decades. I think Northern California was a little earlier than most places. When I moved to Los Angeles I couldn't even find anyone willing to take newspapers. But then Los Angeles was the place where they used hoses to get leaves off the sidewalk instead of a broom. Northern California water. Sore subject.

    This was a very entertaining and though provoking post.

    1. Yes, I can imagine how the water issue can be a sore one...
      But now, instead of the water hose, it's those damn leaf blowers...
      as if noise pollution and raising the dust was of no concern...
      Ever since I've had a computer, I haven't touched a newspaper,
      getting everything via the internet, and I get eBills instead of paper.
      One appalling thing is when mail is delivered where I live,
      the amount of advertising thrown directly into the garbage pail.
      A TOTAL WASTE...

  14. How does that quote go, good things are worth the wait? In any case, your photos rocked my world for an inside view, always a treat from you. The man and his cans, is quite the priceless photo that will long be in my thoughts today!

    1. "Good things come to those who can wait".
      I was waiting for an answer, not for a new post altogether.
      Glad it made an impression.
      A positive one, hopefully?!?

  15. I come from a village in England famous for its limestone quarries which are still in operation along with the cement works where my father worked, Stone from the quarries has been used in many of England's finest buildings. We can never do enough recycling - today was collection day for household rubbish, metal cans, plastic, cardboard, green garden waste and newspapers - all of which have to be kept separate, The household waste is incinerated, landfill is too expensive now, Green gardern was is composted and the other stuff all recycled. Well worth the effort.

    1. I think so too,
      and it should always have been that way,
      instead of those immense and too numerous landfills...


Comments are always appreciated,
but please note that any comment with a link
will promptly be deleted,
as it usually means it is from a spammer.
Thank you!!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin