|A handsome 97-hectare slab of land in a low-profile corner of town, the name Angrignon is nonetheless one that thousands of Montrealers see daily because it’s the last stop westward on the Metro’s green line. It’s named after J.-B. Arthur Angrignon (1875-1948), city councillor for Côte Saint-Paul for many years.
The city began to acquire land for this park in 1926 and by 1944 a grand scheme was hatched to turn it into a zoo, but the project fizzled out. It remained the winter home for the animals from Lafontaine Park’s small Jardin des Merveilles zoo until 1989 when the city went out of the zoo business for good.
Angrignon Park is simply a nice stretch of green space with a 1.1-km-long pond in the middle. There are picnic tables, foot and cycle paths and a few playground areas along des Trinitaires. The heart of the park was re-landscaped in 2000 with a light hand and the overall impression is one of gentle purposelessness, an idyllic refuge from the stresses of the city.
Officially the park has 10 km of walking trails, 11 km of cross-country skiing trails, and is home to a large community garden area with more than a hundred plots. Alas, Angrignon Farm, once a nice outing for kids, is closed and the borough has no plans to reopen it.
Although you never really get completely beyond the distant sound of traffic, what with busy de la Vérendrye and des Trinitaires bordering the park and a number of bus routes converging on the metro station, there are many tranquil corners here. And yet busy city-dwellers always know that in a few minutes they can be whirled away by a metro to their next appointment.
To get to Angrignon Park you need only stay on the metro's Green Line till the last stop, get out and start walking. But there are parking lots as well.
There are no shops and not many services in or adjoining the park, but just across Newman Blvd. is Carrefour Angrignon, a large mall. Fort Angrignon nearby, once an outing centre with family activities, has been closed due to borough budget cuts.
A foot race for families, the Course populaire du parc Angrignon, will be held September 21, 2014.
There has also been some discussion of a possible speed skating ring to be constructed in the park.
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