the district

text & photography Patrick La Roque

I shot these pictures in the northern end of Montreal, around rue St-Hubert. Many areas in the city have undergone or are currently experiencing a process of intense gentrification, creating odd contrasts, sometimes within a single neighbourhood. While this district has never been amongst the most impoverished, there is still a very clear cut between the mushrooming condos of Quartier 54 and the streets surrounding it.

Real estate projects such as these are often seen as a sign of economic health. But it’s a double edged sword: with every influx of wealthy condo dwellers comes a corresponding push of the less fortunate to the outskirts.

The question then becomes: where does it stop?


The district lives — breathing, teething, falling. Picking itself up again. Slaps on lipstick & eyeliner to impress new friends
the hip, the busy, the upwardly mobile
all storming the gates.

The faithful ditched by the roadside, pushed to the outer limits, banging on doors when there’s nobody home.

It lives to battle the sorrows of winter
in sparkly bright apparels
 & will give no quarter.