This is a strange park. It’s a Pierrefonds park but basically located in the parking lot of the adjoining apartment buildings. There is nowhere to park your car, and while Google Maps shows Cloverdale as being on the west side of Rue Alexander, the actual playground equipment is found between buildings on the east side of the street.
We felt like we shouldn’t be playing here, and our first time by we’d actually been heckled by 5-year olds on their balconies and ended up leaving.
So on our way somewhere else we just stopped in quick to take pictures and play for a few minutes.
There’s a pretty good toddler climber with stairs, ladders, and slides; a stand-alone twirly slide from Miracle Recreation; and a zipline ride. All the equipment is in good shape.
Other than a few benches around that’s about it. A pretty good play area for neighbourhood kids but not a destination park!
There is NO fencing, it’s beside a parking lot, and there is ZERO shade.
|Toddler park (2-5)||✓|
|Fenced toddler park|
|Big kid park (5-12)|
|Big kid swings|
|Reduced mobility swings|
Residents of this eastern enclave of Pierrefonds might be interested to know that up until about 1970 the little park and basketball courts described in the article above used to be where an open creek (originating in and around the then mostly forested DDO) flowed eastward beneath Alexander Street and continued out in the open under the overhead Hydro wires all the way to Bertrand Creek and ending up in the section of today’s Bois de Liesse Park near the Riviere des Prairies.
This creek had been a target of local tenants’ complaints as the water was polluted and certainly an unsafe place for children to play–as some invariably did. The creek was eventually placed into underground pipes. Mosquitoes were a problem as well.
In the 1960s, Cloverdale Park–a mostly Anglo-populated, housing project built and owned by the CMHC comprising the streets Alexander, Anthony, Bonny, Station Road, a part of Logan, Basswood, Cloverdale St.–had relatively meagre services with its very small shopping centre, limited CN commuter train service on this the Deux Montagnes line, and the then very low-frequency and inconvenient Provincial bus network. STM bus service along Gouin Blvd. only commenced in the 1980s. Back in the 1960s, you really had to own a car in order to conveniently get to and from this part of the West Island.
The only attraction the neighbourhood offered was its relatively low rents ($85.00 per month for a 5-and-a half), a new PSBGM school in 1961 (Stonecroft), and plenty of forested hiking paths to the west and south. Lots of fun for easy-to-please small children but little to nothing for restless teens to occupy them except to become bored and all too often getting into trouble. Today’s extensive Bois de Liesse Park was only a pipe dream back then: long promised but not realized until decades later.
By 1964, I and my family had had enough of the place so we moved back closer to the city and the convenience of services and proximity to downtown that we had been accustomed to prior to the “boondocks of Pierrefonds”.
When in the late 70s and early 80s Anglos began deserting the West Island in droves to head down highway 401 due to the Separatist threat, Cloverdale Park reportedly became transformed into a run-down, unsafe place to live with gangs and drug-dealing occurring on a regular basis. Shades of South Bronx. Ugly orange dumpsters appeared outside each apartment building, and previously English schools including Stonecroft were inexorably absorbed and into the French education system–all of which, needless to say, created anger and resentment by remaining Anglos who were seeing their plans dashed and their lives uprooted.
Incredibly, the A Ma Baie commuter train station just west of Alexander was closed at some point (what date exactly?) thereby forcing local tenants to walk to a new, more distant station–Sunnybrooke–on the “upgraded” network. One wonders how many Cloverdale Park tenants simply left in anger and frustration following all of these changes. The final nail in the coffin came when, amid controversy, the CMHC sold Cloverdale Park to another owner who could not–or would not–maintain what little dignity remained of the neighbourhood.
I have not researched how much higher Cloverdale Park rents would be these days as of this writing (2021).
Anyone having comments, additions, and corrections to the above are welcome to post them here.