Photo cred - Spacexspace
Unused urban spaces are a little too abundant in Montreal, what with the city's array of abandoned buildings and parking lots, creating a spatial void where something positive to the city's growth could be set up. More often than we like, most of these unused spaces remain as such, an exception being Space-EX, a recently renovated abandoned city lot that now stands as an urban agriculture project.
Originally an unused building in Rosemont Petite-Patrie (map), a group of Montrealers recognized the potential to create a new community space, and decided to take matters into their own hands. After getting approval from the lot's owner, the group began working on the Space-EX this past May, recreating it into an urban garden and public space open to the entire community.
Social change is at the core of Space-EX's concept, as the lot is meant to be a communal meeting ground where Montrealers can gather and learn how to live a more environmentally sustainable life. Workshops and classes (ranging from DIY solar heaters to the basics on beekeeping) are regularly held, bringing Montrealers together while learning some pretty cool and useful info on greener city living.
Space-EX also builds relationships in the community with more traditional events, namely musical performances, film screenings, BBQs, and parties. A long list of events are already planned to be held at Space-EX, with many more in the works. Keep updated on what's going on at the Space-EX Facebook page.
Any community project can't keep going without public support, and you can show yours by checking out Space-EX in person, and helping them out with a donation. A Kickstarter-like funding campaign is already in the works, with every donation to be matched by Montreal's Urban Ecology Centre, so even the smallest amount will help. You stand to benefit, as donations will get some sweet thank-you gifts, and all money will go towards making the space even better.
For more on all things Montreal, follow Michael on Twitter @MDAlimonte