I made a totally trivial yet kind of interesting discovery a number of years ago while walking along de Maisonneuve by the corner of Elm Avenue in Westmount. I must have been on the lookout for dropped coins because I noticed that on the north-west sidewalk – the arrow on the map shows the spot – there is a manhole cover (I know … it should be personhole). That in itself isn’t all that newsworthy, but upon closer inspection (maybe I thought I saw a quarter) I could see that the manhole cover belonged not to Westmount, but to the city of St. Leonard.
How did the City of Westmount come to have a St. Leonard manhole cover? Was it stolen (were we ever that hard up)? Was it part of a sewer lid exchange program some years ago (can we visit Westmount’s cover in St. Leonard)? Did pranksters make the switch, then realize it wasn’t all that funny so they just let it be?
The photo below shows that the sewer lid is now circled in blue spray paint which I believe means it is slated for removal. Will it be replaced by a Westmount lid after the work is done and then returned to St. Leonard? Will St. Leonard charge Westmount rent for all these years? Or will the St. Leonard lid be put right back and the mystery continue?
You might not think manhole covers are not all that interesting or historical, but this one from the Galician city of Santiago de Compostella in northern Spain shows it was placed in Franco’s time. Somehow this shot didn’t make it into the guide books!