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By Cillian Davenport September 22, 2014

Transforming the Griffin


Noun- a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance, as in "its landscape has undergone a radical transformation."

Synonyms - change, alteration, mutation, conversion, metamorphosis, transfiguration, transmutation.

Above are the results I found after typing in a search inqury into the long grey rectangle which occupies a tiny place at the top end of my tablet, yet seems to hold all the answers. All it took was a "define Transformation" and there, my friends, arrived our definition.

Though this word won't be the main focuse of our article, but instead will act as a thin foundation for a series of articles I plan to write.

My article won't be on the etymology of the word TRANSformation– as facinating as that subject could be. Neither will we be looking at grander topics which would seemingly try to tackle the constant flux and unrest of our little planet, such as the transformation of our earth's environment, or the transformation of our everyday lives with the advent of robotics, or even the transformation of global power in our constanstly changing world. No, those topics seem to be too grand for me at the moment. Instead I'll be focusing on a topic which is much closer to me. That is the grey, dreary, paradise– of Griffintown.

Located in the South-West of Montreal, its southern most part bordering the Lachine Canal, and cut off to the north by rue Notre-Dame. Well known to be a working class, Irish, neighbourhood. Or at least that's what it once was. A trendy, up and coming neighbourhood might be a more fitting description now for the once old, decaying, industrial area of a temporarily forgotten piece of Montreal.

Overflowing condos have slowly replaced the abandoned factories. Lower class locals have slowly been replaced by ambitious youngsters. New businesses are looking to uplift a once poor, empty but interesting wasteland. Griffintown has been churning out new restaurants, boutiques, and bars. All new d evelopments, which seemingly attract a new, young, urban, and increasingly professional crowd. These developers seem to know what they're doing.

However, there's one thing that's not been mentioned. Griffintown isn't just another part of Montreal for me: it's the neighbourhood I grew up in. Raised in an isolated loft, on an unknown street called L'aqueduc, I haven't just heard of Griffintown's transformation; I've experienced it. I've grown as it's changed. It's evolved as I've matured.

This series of articles won't be an impartial take on that transformation but a personal one, likely to hit notes of nostalgia and longing, one hand reaching back into the past while I also keep an eye on the future. This article will pay tribute to the changing, industrial wasteland that has been my home.

About the author

Cillian Davenport is currently a student of Dawson College in the Liberal Arts Program, seeking new minds and new thoughts wherever he can find them.


Photos by Cillian Davenport


  1. space-default-avatar


    December 7, 2014

    This article showed a great you of the word transformation. The article shows the transformation of the factory based are which grew into a seemingly prosperous and fast-paced district which grows by the day. As well, the personal touch you added by growing up in this area lead to a deep connection to the article. Your personal voice made it easy to feel as if I have been to the district. A possible visit to the district may be approaching in the near future. Great read, I plan to share this great find to tourists venturing to the Montreal area.

  1. space-default-avatar


    December 7, 2014

    This article was interesting to read for me because it portrayed the feeling of nostalgia or of reminiscing over memories. Many people can relate to the feeling of their home town changing, and sometimes it’s hard to decide whether that change is positive or negative. I found the line where you said that Griffintown was growing as you were maturing very interesting because it raises the question of whether the district itself was changing very much, or if you were changing and that was altering your outlook. I can personally relate to viewing your home town in a different way while maturing, so I get where you’re coming from! All in all, it was a very interesting read!

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