Montreal dismantles homeless encampment just east of Jacques-Cartier Bridge

·1 min read
Following an eviction notice, the encampment was taken down on Tuesday morning. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada - image credit)
Following an eviction notice, the encampment was taken down on Tuesday morning. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada - image credit)

The city of Montreal has dismantled a homeless encampment on a vacant lot at the intersection of Notre-Dame and D'Iberville streets, just east of the Jacques-Cartier Bridge, on Tuesday morning.

Police, firefighters and city employees took down improvised shelters on the lot, which is owned by the Quebec Transport Ministry.

A spokesperson for the city told Radio-Canada that the encampments "are not a safe or durable solution for people experiencing homelessness."

"They can't be tolerated because the risks are known, notably when it comes to fire hazards," said Mélanie Gagné, a communications officer.

The presence of campfires on the site and a fire that broke out in two tents on July 1 prompted the Transport Ministry to publish an eviction notice.

People were warned that they had to leave on July 8, said Gagné.

Between July 8 and 13, outreach workers and police officers followed up with the 10 people living there to refer them to relocation services.

Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada
Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada

"Right now, we can see the value of the homeless," said a man who has lived in a similar encampment, Guylain Levasseur, as he watched the workers dismantle the tents and lean-tos. "We take out the bulldozer, we put everything in a truck and we take it to the dump."

Levasseur was living at an encampment in Montreal's east end when it was taken down in May.

While the city has taken a firm stance against allowing encampments, Levasseur says that there are few other options for people who don't want to go to a shelter.

"It doesn't solve the problem. If they dismantle here, where will these guys sleep? In shop doorways?

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