First, I'm not quite sure which forum this fits into, so to the moderators: please feel free to place it somewhere more appropriate.
The following photo was taken today in Montreal:
full, uncropped picture here
There is a bicycle path beside a railway (3 tracks in all, one used to temporarily park wagons). This section of the bike path is about 3 kilometers
(almost 2 miles) long. You have one of these every 500 meters (0.3 miles) or so. The brown building you see further to the right is about 200 meters
(200 yards) away; it is the closest building to this vent. The fence to the right surrounds an empty lot which is currently being decontaminated. The
tracks are on the left, on the other side of the fence.
These vents can be found regularly, as I said, every 500 meters or so, regardles of whether there are any buildings or not around and they are all
Montreal supposedly has the biggest tunnel system of any city, but this photo was taken about 3-4 kilometers (2-2.5 miles) from any known tunnels,
except for the metro. The path does intersect the metro at one point. Still, at the furthest, you end up with a vent almost 2 kilometers away; quite a
long way to vent out the metro tunnel, I would think.
These units are made of concrete and are about 3.5 feet high. There's a vent on one side only (always the same side), the rest is quite featurless
except for some graffiti on a few of them.
The weather became drastically warmer this past week: up to a week ago, these things were almost completely covered in snow. You couldn't see the
grills anymore. Which means there's certainly no warm air coming out of them and no air could go into them either.
The only thing I can think of, and I don't know if it makes any sense, would be that these would serve for the drainage system. There's a sewer pipe
under the bike path to pick up rain water. The sewer holes (you can see one on the left) are a few inches higher than the path, but since it's dirt,
it can be the wear and tear of the years that has brought the level of the path below that of the sewer covers.
I don't expect that these are part of a grand dark design; they probably have a very mundane explanation, but as I've been going by these twice a
day for over a year, they have piqued my curiosity. Anyone have any ideas?
edited to add link to full picture
[edit on 9-4-2008 by ajmusicmedia]