Pierre Elliott Trudeau:
Well-wishers still stream to art deco mansion
Thursday, October 5, 2000
TU THANH HA
MONTREAL -- The man was ambling down a sidewalk in the posh hillside Montreal district known as Golden Square Mile when he spotted the art deco mansion that was Pierre Trudeau's home until the former prime minister died last week.
The man picked up a maple leaf on the ground and detoured to Mr. Trudeau's house to place the leaf on the doorstep. He later said the idea came spontaneously to him as he walked by and suddenly saw the famous house.
"I had been thinking about him. I admire him for what he did for individual rights," said the man, who would only give his name as Martin.
The extraordinary five days of mourning that followed Pierre Trudeau's death ended with his state funeral Tuesday but, outside his Montreal home, the well-wishers keep coming.
Used as a background for countless television reports, the door to the art deco house on Pine Avenue is now well burnished in the collective mind. Throughout the day yesterday, cars and passers-by slowed by the house. Some people took pictures. Others gazed or pointed out the door to their children.
"We just keep remembering seeing the door on TV," said Delila Dallal, who dropped by with her 11-year-old son Avior.
The young boy said his usually rambunctious Grade 6 class went quiet as it watched the funeral service. "Lots of kids liked Justin's speech," he said, alluding to the heartfelt eulogy by Mr. Trudeau's eldest son.
In the morning, the entire doorstep was hidden under a mound of flowers and the lawn around was spiked with Canadian flags. By afternoon, not long after a caretaker had removed the flowers, a new bouquet reappeared, while someone else pasted a red dinner-plate-sized cardboard heart next to the door. Rose petals were strewn all over the lawn.
"It's going to be a spot that will attract people for a long while," Ms. Dallal said.