Montreal mayor touts post-pandemic 'green recovery plan' with $1.8 billion for city parks
MONTREAL -- Montreal's mayor is promising a post-pandemic "green recovery plan" by investing in the city's parks.
While visiting Bellerive Park in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Valerie Plante announced Thursday what some call an "ambitious" project to protect green spaces, while creating pathways between them so Montrealers can explore more easily.
It’s a 10-year plan to develop places like Dalle Park along the cliff, south of St-Jacques Street in NDG, and to preserve green spaces like the Grand Parc de l’Ouest on the island’s westernmost tip in Senneville.
Foliage isn’t the only greenery the mayor announced: the price-tag for this project totals to $1.8 billion dollars.
"I think it's a very strong gesture, concrete actions of what a green recovery means," Plante said. "Not only is it crucial for Montrealers to have amazing parks, especially in a time of a pandemic, but it is a good way to bring tourists and this is why investors love Montreal."
In between those parks, a partnership with Hydro-Quebec means that 110 kilometres of "green corridors" will be opened, linking neighbourhoods to the large parks on the island.
Plante said these linear pathways will be "something that is narrower and friendlier" and bike-friendly as well as pedestrian-friendly, since some pedestrians and cyclists have trouble getting to the large parks, such as Mount Royal.
When asked about previous promises to make access to Mount Royal safer for cyclists, Coun. Robert Beaudry, who sits on the Montreal Executive Committee, said they are already working on it, with construction beginning on Remembrance Road.
"There's going to be an opportunity to have new access to the mountain. It's the main idea and we want to work with the partners," he said.
Plante also promised that in this plan, 500,000 trees will be planted in the greater Montreal region. This project is expected to be presented to the executive committee May 26 for approval.
As people look forward to summer visits to these parks, Plante reminded citizens to enjoy them responsibly. Even though restrictions are easing soon, the mayor said over-crowding at these parks this summer will not be allowed.
"Our goal is to make it clear that when people go to the beach, they will have to respect the number of people," she said.
She said monitors will be in place to ensure that physical distancing rules are followed.