Coalition demanding Montreal's iconic Royal Vic Hospital site remains a public space
MONTREAL -- A coalition of groups gathered in Montreal on Sunday in front of the former Royal Victoria Hospital site and began a march demanding the iconic site "remain in the public domain, be managed democratically and ecologically, and be used to serve urgent needs of the population."
The Royal Vic for the Public Coalition includes five groups including the Peter-McGill Community Council, the Students' Society of McGill University (SSMU) and the Milton-Parc Citizens' Committee.
The coalition said in a news release that the September plan from the Societe quebecoise des infrastructures (SQI) outlines heritage conservation, expansion of green spaces, and other principles, which the coalition agrees with, but it would like more transparency about future development on the site that scales the side of Mount Royal.
"Almost a year ago, we met to ask that the former Royal Victoria Hospital site remain public property," said coalition member Maryse Chapdelaine. "Even today, it is not certain that the portion of the site occupied by McGill University will be public property."
She said the coalition remains "in the dark" about the site's management.
"The SQI and McGill University have made very little effort to include citizens and community groups in the development process of the future project," she added.
The coalition organized demonstrations last year demanding the Royal Vic be saved from privatization. They also point out that other health centres in the area may face uncertain futures such as the Hotel-Dieu and the Institut des Sourdes Muettes, which also are unoccupied.