Maps are handy tools. When you need directions, a map can tell you where you need to go. Or, if you live in Montreal, a map can also tell you if your home is standing atop a former dump site which may have contaminated the ground and soil.
That's what a recently released map of straight from the City of Montreal is meant to showcase to citizens. Pinpointing the sites of defunct quarries, which were also used as landfills, the map will let you know if you're unwittingly living on top of a former garbage dump.
You may remember a similar map that was released a short while ago which highlighted around 60 forgotten landfill sites on the island, only some of which were definitely confirmed to be past garbage dumps. The new map does the same thing, but with more added info and landfills sites added in.
Borough-specific maps are also included, identifying where old garbage dumps are located exactly within a neighbourhood.
What's a little worrisome is the fact that most of these past quarries (some of which became landfills) locations were forgotten to time, and builders went ahead with constructing apartments, houses, and parks on these potentially contaminated spots of land.
But the City of Montreal has assured the public that despite the fact that you may be living above a former garbage dump, none of the areas pose a risk to citizens.
When speaking to CBC, the city claimed that asphalt and lawns "prevent residents from coming in contact with any contaminated materials that still may be buried beneath." Can't say that's particularly comforting, but at least there's no immediate health hazards to be worried about...we hope.
The methane levels of these areas still needs to be tested, however, and the city will do so, revealing the results after the tests have been completed.
So are you itching to know where in your borough used to be a former quarry or landfill? Of course you are, because who wouldn't want to be shocked (and hopefully relieved) about where they may be contaminated soil in their 'hood.
To find out, head to the City of Montreal's interactive map here, with the borough-specific maps listed underneath and within the map itself.