Critics underwhelmed by River-Mountain Walkway
Published Monday, July 17, 2017 2:52PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, July 17, 2017 7:23PM EDT
Critics say the latest legacy project by the city of Montreal for its 375th anniversary is underwhelming.
The river-to-mountain walkway, officially termed the Promenade Fleuve-Montagne, is a 3.8 km path linking the St. Lawrence River to the base of Mount Royal that was inaugurated on Monday, July 17.
Art displays and other items along the zig-zagging path through Old Montreal and the downtown core are meant to showcase Montreal's cultural heritage.
Real Menard, mayor of the Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough, said Montrealers should be pleased with the promenade.
"I'm very convinced that Montrealers, the taxpayers, will be very proud with what we achieved and what we're celebrating today," said Menard.
Yet opposition critics say it's dull, doesn't show much culture, and somehow manages to have signage that is less than obvious.
"It makes no sense at all that a project that is less ambitious than planned is going to cost $13 million more," said Projet Montreal councillor Alex Norris.
The original budget for the walkway was $42 million, and the final cost was just under $50 million. The city of Montreal blamed the extra cost and the delay in completing the project on unexpected aqueduct work that was needed on Sherbrooke St.
"Mayor Denis Coderre had promised that this was going to be an emblematic project that would attract tourists, that would excite Montrealers. I don't see this going into any Lonely Planet guide," said Norris.
The path is indicated by triangles fixed to poles or painted on railings and sidewalks, and multiple benches line the walkway. Blue arrows point to the river, while yellow ones point to the mountain.
From now through October multiple events including musical performances, yoga sessions and public markets are scheduled to take place along the path.
"Parts of it are more impressive than others," said Norris, but he said that overall he was underwhelmed. "Much of it is just a coat of paint. South of Ste. Catherine that's really all there is."