Next to the Montreal General Hospital they are building an addition to the hospital. Or maybe it is just a parking garage, I don’t know. Since this is literally in the mountain they have to remove a lot of rock. When I passed they were just finishing up drilling deep holes in the rock with a giant drill, mounted on a crawling vehicle.

Then the covered the just drilled hole with these big grey mats. Suddenly it dawned to me and my suspicion was confirmed when I saw this sign.

warning sign

They were going to blast the rock with dynamite, right there before my eyes! Being a Dutchman I’ve never seen any blasting. The only rock we have is the one used by junkies, our soil is sand, mud and clay, so a backhoe will do fine to remove it. This suddenly became very exiting. I asked the guy that waited on the side walk how long it would take before the blast. “Five minutes,” he answered so it was an easy decision to wait.


I had to get off the sidewalk onto the street but managed to get a picture anyway.

(Okay, in reality the blast was not nearly as exiting as this photo suggests. It was only a very muffled boom, and then some dust emerged from the pit. Those protective mats really work.)


After the blast they removed the mats and bulldozers went into the pit to remove the rubble. Then the drilling started again for another cycle. From the daily report that hung over a fence post I learned they did about 25 blasts a day. Preparing a building site in this location sure is a lot of work.