$70 million for 65,000-spot amphitheatre in Jean Drapeau Park
The residents of Saint Lambert won't like this much, but Montreal and the province are spending $70 mililon to build a 65,000-person capacity open-air amphitheatre in Jean Drapeau Park.
The space between Swan Lake and the Biosphere will be transformed by the end of 2018, with construction beginning late next year.
The province is contributing $35 million to the project, with the city spending $35.4 million.
Mayor Denis Coderre said this is yet another project aimed at helping Montreal celebrate its 375th anniversary in 2017, and the 50th anniversary of Expo 67 -- even though it will not be completed in time.
"There was some flim-flam in the contracts process. So what am I going to say. Do you want a first page saying 'why didn't you do anything?' or do you say, 'okay, we'll be transparent about it, we'll address the situation, and say it might take us a bit longer but at the end of the day you will have a tremendous infrastructure," said Coderre.
He added the views of the park and the river should be spectacular.
Residents of Saint Lambert have frequently complained about excessive noise coming from St. Helen's Island and Ile Notre Dame during summer concerts and car races.
According to the artist's sketches, the speakers in the amphitheatre would be pointed at Saint Lambert, with the crowd facing downtown Montreal.