A tiny park in the McGill Ghetto that had been created and tended by residents for 25 years has been destroyed.
Oxygen Park was created on a private laneway off Hutchison St., north of Prince Arthur St., and residents had fought for years to save it.
Those efforts ended this morning when residents awoke to the sound of bulldozers ripping it apart.
Resident Norman Nawrocki thought the Projet Montreal party — which dominates the borough council and is well known for championing environmental causes and green spaces — would be a natural ally in their fight to save the park.
"People are just in shock right now," Nawrocki says. "The whole neighborhood is in shock. People have been coming out all morning and stopping neighbors...and just crying. It's unbelievable."
Projet Montreal councillor Alex Norris said he sympathized with the residents, but the borough couldn't afford the half million dollars to buy back the property.
"We agonized long and hard over this decision and ultimately decided that we simply couldn't justify spending so much money for such a small plot of land." Norris wrote on Facebook. "Had we spent the money to buy it, we would have deprived ourselves of the funds needed to create bigger green and public spaces nearby to serve a much larger number of people."
The park will be replaced by a five-unit condo project.