What to do with the Old Port? Montrealers have their say
Public consultations began Thursday night on how the Old Port could be revitalized.
The federal government wants to draw up a new master plan for a makeover in 2017, in time for Montreal's 375th anniversary celebrations.
It's been 25 years since there's been a master plan for the area and with six million visitors every year, the Old Port of Montreal Corporation and city believe it's time to improve.
The three-part consultation process will rely on the public's input. Basil Cavas, GM of the corporation, said the idea at this point is to listen to Montrealers' suggestions.
"The master plan will bring some new ideas to the Old Port and add to the existing activities we have here. And hopefully make it more attractive to visitors and Montrealers," said Cavis.
The 2.5 km stretch of waterfront has gone through numerous changes, especially in the past four years with the addition of an artificial elevated beach (no swimming), and the transformation of shipping containers into boutiques that line the walkway.
$14 million has been spent since 2012, and Cavis believes more can be done to make the Old Port even more of a winter attraction.
"We do have some fantastic activities at the Old Port like Igloofest right behind us, and the December 31 New Year's Eve party, so all those activities make the Old Port a very vibrant place," he said.
Many people who attended the Thursday evening hearings had ideas about what they wanted to see, but some just wanted to hear what was proposed.
"I'm curious to know what they plan to do with that big building, Silo #5, and to see what everyone else is thinking also," said one man.
Cavis said at this point, he just wants to hear ideas.
"There are no preconceived plans at this stage. In the fall we'll divulge a preliminary master plan for people to comment on and share their ideas when we present that, and then in early 2017 we hope to unveil the master plan for the Old Port," he said.
Anyone who wants to be involved in the public consultations and online discussions can do so on the corporation's website, planoldport.com