Monsieur le Maire, Tear Down this… Railing?

Community Housing, Montreal - Spring 2014

I don’t really know what to call that metal bar running along the edge of the property pictured above, but I’m pretty sure I know what it represents.

I snapped this pic in Saint Henri but if you live in this city you’ve doubtless seen these pseudo fences elsewhere. They typically run just along the edge of a given property, though providing none of the privacy of a normal fence. The buildings inside the rail are always sullen looking, worn out and cheap. Unless I’m gravely mistaken, from what I’ve seen and heard, these rails not-so-subtly announce the presence of subsidized housing.

If this really is the case, I’d like to know what the justification is. Perhaps it’s nothing more than a decorative element from a bygone era that serves no real purpose. If so, all the more reason to remove them. It’s not a fence, it offers no privacy nor added security. In every instance I’ve ever seen one of these they always look ugly – a half-hearted and half-assed rusting attempt at decoration that makes cutting the grass around it unnecessarily difficult.

And if in most cases these bars do indeed surround city or provincially-owned low-rent housing, all the more reason to remove them completely and replace them with a proper fence.

How is it beneficial to point out subsidized real-estate in a given neighbourhood? How does it benefit the residents, either of the building in question or those who live around it?

It seems to me it would be more advantageous for everyone concerned not to draw attention to subsidized housing, so as to allow it to blend in seamlessly with the surrounding environs.

So please Monsieur le Maire – tear down these eyesores.

I’m sure there’s some money to be made scrapping the metal.

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