An inclusive and inspiring playground

A little break from the election campaign for some very nice, concrete news, in the real life of the real world, as they say.

TVA News reporter indeed carrying out a pioneering initiative in the working-class neighborhood of Saint-Michel – the one, by the way, where I was lucky enough to grow up.

Even if I don’t live there anymore, I love this neighborhood. Because it is a veritable microcosm of Montreal’s diversity. Because it’s so much more interesting than the crime stories you see on the news.

Neighborhood children could now have fun in a large 16,000 square foot “inclusive” playground, inaugurated this week. Inclusive, because it will also be able – and finally (!) – to welcome children living with a physical, intellectual or sensory handicap. Angry!

In this large park adapted to all needs, children, with or without disabilities, can have fun together and get to know each other in a place of real social diversity. What a wonderful tool to deconstruct prejudices, strengthen self-confidence and acceptance of differences!

For the future

In this new meeting place, renamed Parc Julie-Hamelin, solid friendships will also surely be built for the future.

The project is the joint fruit of the Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension borough and the Canadian Tire Bon Départ Foundation.

Tuesday, during the inauguration of the park, were also present the senator and former Paralympic champion Chantal Petitclerc, as well as Benoît Huot, Paralympic champion in swimming. Hats off to their bras.

I can only try to imagine the immense good that such a park could have brought to my sister Manon if, herself living after birth with an intellectual disability, he had been able to enjoy in the 1960s and 1970s, in Saint – Michel, from such a magical place and open to its own difference.

Saint-Michel, once again, you are showing us the way. That of a Montreal where diversity, in all its forms, is a treasure to be cherished. By all of us and for all of us.

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