Sounding Griffintown
A Listening Guide of a
Montreal Neighbourhood

Lisa Gasior


About the Project

Located in the heart of Montreal, sandwiched between the downtown core and the Old Port, Griffintown is a space where remnants of life can be found and an overwhelming sense of history still resides. Until the mid-twentieth century, Griffintown was a residential, predominantly Irish, working-class neighbourhood. As a result of preparations for Expo ‘67, the City of Montreal decided that Griffintown was an eyesore on the landscape and began its transformation into an industrial neighbourhood. By 1970, most homes, along with St. Ann’s Catholic Church, were torn down and residents moved away.

Sounding Griffintown is a listening guide of the neighbourhood that incorporates memories of its history as told by former residents as well as soundscape recordings and observations. The contrast between past and present is strong as the listener is guided on a walking tour of this once-vibrant community amidst the dreariness that is presently Griffintown. This project does not attempt to recreate history so much as allow listeners to contemplate how soundscapes change and how people’s memories differ yet combine to paint a sonic photograph of their old neighbourhood.

Printer-friendly version of the map and instructions here.



The listening guide combines different disciplines of sound production with recordings of the ever-changing present (soundscape), interviews with former Griffintown residents (documentary), and the imagined sounds of the past (film sound techniques – sound effects and Foley). Drawing from similar work by Janet Cardiff, Diane Leboeuf, and Andra McCartney, Sounding Griffintown balances the sounds of the environment with recorded sounds and takes into consideration how the listener moves through that space and interacts with the environment.

Download the audio
(right-click and select "save target as")

Track 1
Track 2
Track 3
Track 4
Track 5
Track 6
Track 7
Track 8
Track 9


If you can’t make it out to Griffintown to do this walk, please use headphones when listening to the guide. If you’re on your way there now, remember these ground rules:


Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Sony of Canada, Ltd.
Concordia University Centre for Canadian Irish Studies
Centre interuniversitaire des arts médiatiques
Dr. Andra McCartney
Elizabeth Miller
Dr. Steven High
Dr. Matt Soar
Dr. William Buxton
Dr. Monika Kin Gagnon
Matthew Barlow
Grégoire Rochon
Frances Dion-Arnott
Joseph Berger

Featuring the Voices of

Lou Borelli
Denis Delaney
Christine Gasior
Kevin Gasior
Marius Gasior
Jack Kelly
James & Helen Kelly
Eileen Kelly Stacy
Martin Kiely
Maureen Kiely
Louis & Elizabeth Lecompte
Leo Leonard
Marcel (from Lowney)
Gordon McCambridge
Thomas McEntee
Gerard & Catherine Morgan
Patrick Murphy
David O’Neil
Don Pidgeon
John Ryan
Elizabeth Snow
James Twerdin
Natalie Waters


Download a copy of the accompanying paper Sounding Griffintown: A Listening Guide of a Montreal Neighbourhood here.


I'd love to hear about what you heard in Griffintown. Questions and comments about Sounding Griffintown can be sent to


More Soundscapes by Lisa Gasior at

Copyright 2007 Lisa Gasior |