My first encounter with two activists who have transformed Montreal’s urban space was with a group of a few dozen environmental enthusiasts who have gathered in the backyard of the Montreal Urban Ecology Centre on a sunny Tuesday afternoon. The Centre was launching a guide on climbing plants as part of its continuing efforts to encourage citizens to make their urban space environmentally friendly.
It was also inaugurating an educational garden terrace dedicated to Lucia Kowaluk, long-time Montreal political and environmental activist and a founder of the Centre.
Lucia and her partner Dimitri Rousopoulos have engaged in community involvement and left-wing activism for more than half a century. They have campaigned for nuclear disarmament, faced down bulldozers to save the Milton-Parc neighbourhood, founded an alternative publishing house, established the largest cooperative housing project in North America, and set up the Montreal Urban Ecology Centre.
Now in their seventies, they have no intention of slowing down. “If you want to do this kind of work, you have to spend your whole life doing it,” Lucia said. Continue Reading