A stone's throw from downtown Montreal, quirky artists, blue-collar workers and unconventional families are being forced to leave their old neighbourhood as high-tech firms move in. Like in so many other cities, the tech companies arrive with the promise of a rosy future--but it's one built on demolitions, evictions and the conversion of low-rent property to high-priced condos.
This is a portrait of one building and its residents--people like Constanzo 'Fartman' Manna, an eccentric shipper and packer who's headed for Chile to marry the love of his life and bring her back to Montreal; artist Luc Bourbonnais, who is fighting desperately to hold on to the loft that inspires so much of his art; and Cuban émigré Rolando Zambrano, who ran a neighbourhood snack bar for nearly 30 years.
Shot over a period of six months and set to a pulsing Latin and rock soundtrack, 645 Wellington not only opens a window onto the lives of the building's residents but brings the building itself to life. We come to know the dark hallways, the corners and the doorways. We get to know them well. Just as they are about to change, forever.
645 Wellington was produced as part of the Reel Diversity Competition for emerging filmmakers of colour. Reel Diversity is a National Film Board of Canada initiative in partnership with CBC Newsworld.