Friends of the Mountain are asking people to help make Mount Royal a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  

The group has set up a web page dedicated to their mission, where supporters can sign a letter to the organization.

“Mount Royal is really the heart of the city, it’s the heart of our lives,” said Friends of the Mountain spokesperson Helene Panaoiti. “All us go there. We go there to walk, we go there to get away from the city, to reflect. We go there with family and friends.  It’s an extraordinary place and to have kept it at the heart of the city and grow the city around it rather than on it is really a tribute to the will of the people.”

There are currently over 1,000 Heritage Sites scattered over the globe. In Canada, there are 18; 10 of them natural and the rest cultural. They include the Historic District of Old Quebec, the Rideau Canal, Nahanni National Park and the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks.

World Heritage Sites must meet at least one of 10 criteria, with several of those pertaining to a site being especially beautiful or culturally or historically significant.

“UNESCO World Heritage for Mount Royal is really not out of our range and it’s an opportunity for all Montrealers to say we love our mountain,” said Panaoiti. “We want to give it that extra level of protection that UNESCO World Heritage would confer to it.”