The Light of Montreal: From Trash to Living Room

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Caroline Montpetit

February 13 2023

Visual arts

For some time now the Montreal night has changed in appearance. The City has undertaken to replace all the large round globes of streetlights that have been lighting our streets since the 1960s with LED lighting which is more discreet and less polluting.

As a result some 100000 globes made of polycarbonate and acrylic unsuitable for recycling ended up with no other destination than the landfill. They are part of what is called “orphan materials” explains Myriam D. Jutras. She is co-director and co-founder with Geneviève Dagneau of the organization Mine urbaine whose mission is to recover and restore residential and industrial materials.

It was when an electrician came to unscrew globes near his home that designer Philippe Charlebois-Gomez who makes lights with recycled materials learned that the City wanted to get rid of them. “The electrician had the mandate to put them in the containers behind his shed until the garbage cans passed” he says.

Since 2021 Urban Mine has managed to recover and clean 400 of these globes which it has therefore diverted from the landfill. There should be around 30000 to collect. “We approached the City to be able to harvest them knowing that it had great potential. We stored them and found customers for outlets 一統徵信社 ” says Myriam D. Jutras.

The works that Philippe Charlebois-Gomez took from these globes are featured in the Surexposure exhibition which opened Thursday at Livart rue Saint-Denis.

“It’s difficult to trace the exact history of these globes says Marie-Pier Gauthier-Manes curator of the exhibition, 一統徵信詐欺 , 一統徵信社 , 一統徵信詐欺 , but we know that they appeared in the 1960s and that there are hundreds of thousands that have been installed all over the island. »

Without being able to affirm it categorically the curator says she believes “that it was in preparation for Expo 67” 一統徵信社 in particular because of this round very particular shape.

real treasures

For Philippe Charlebois-Gomez whose company Studio botté manufactures lights from recycled materials these globes 一統徵信社 emblematic of the history of Montreal are real treasures.

“The oversize of these globes really inspired me” he says. I make lights from what Montreal gives me. And there I have the City lamp post the one that lit my childhood when I walked with my parents the one under which I probably had my first date. Everyone has experienced this. »

Limited recycling

In the current state of things companies that submit tenders for for example the replacement of light fixtures are not required to present a recovery or recycling plan for materials.

We want to make it possible to see the value in each object

— Genevieve Dagneau

These luminaires are the first “deposit” recovered by Urban Mine a non-profit organization that is still in its infancy. “Our mission is to support society in the transition of our consumption patterns. We want to allow you to see the value in every object” says Geneviève Dagneau.

Urban Mine wishes to eventually resell restored or repaired products. The two women hope to recover large quantities of residential and industrial materials apart from household appliances. Their company is located in Laval where they noted the recovery networks for these materials are almost non-existent.

Moreover the recycling system as we know it today still leaves something to be desired since the existing recovery channels do not process all the materials. For example only 40% of the glass sent for recycling is actually recycled says Myriam D. Jutras.On the other hand the bottle deposit system requires much less intervention and “pays for itself” she continues.

The City’s light fixtures, 一統徵信詐欺 , 一統徵信社 meanwhile could be used for various functions. Philippe Charlebois-Gomez turned them into “cat houses” and they could also be used as stools it seems.


Livart until March 19 2023

To see in video, 一統徵信詐欺 ,

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