Michael of Parc Avenue

Domenico Meduri, known as Mike, in the spot where he always sat outside the P.A. grocery on Parc Avenue in downtown Montreal.

Domenico Meduri, known as Mike, in the spot where he always sat outside the P.A. grocery on Parc Avenue in downtown Montreal.

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We see them everywhere: people who live on the street, all their worldly possessions shoved into shopping carts or in bags around the benches where they spend their days. For more than 30 years - Domenico Meduri - was one of those men.

Over the decades, Mike, as everybody called him, made his home on Parc Avenue in Mile-End - a downtown Montreal neighbourhood. And come sun, rain or the biggest of snowstorms, Mike parked outside P.A. - a popular family-owned grocery store.

Mike was a little more than five feet tall, often pretty dirty, bent so far over it was difficult to see his eyes. His bicycle was piled high with plastic bags, pets and paintings.  He traveled with a battery-powered keyboard that he played for hours on end. Children talked to him. He learned their names and watched as they grew from toddlers to young adults.

Who was he? Mike had different stories for different people. He had been a baker, a music teacher. No one really knew. And, then, one day in December, Mike disappeared. No one knew where he was.

Last week, people at the P.A. learned that Mike died in hospital on February 11th. A Facebook page sprang up. Memories began flooding in. Artist Patsy Van Roost began taping them to the wall at the entrance to the grocery store, a place - remarkably - where Mike was always welcome.

There are now hundreds of messages taped to the wall. His bicycle is still stored there. Michael of Parc Avenue was produced by David Gutnick.

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