The City defends its promenade River-Mountain

Mario Beauregard

Facing criticism on the promenade River-the Mountains, the City shall ensure that it has delivered the project in full and in ultimately limiting the increase in costs. The opposition maintained its criticism.

“This walk, between two icons of Montreal will be a destination for tourists and a place of reference for Montrealers, we can be proud of”, said, Monday, at the inauguration, Réal Ménard, the elected head of Environment at the City of Montreal. The promenade 3.9 km, stretching from the foot of Mont-Royal, avenue of Pines until the sector of Pointe-à-Callière, place of foundation of the City. Visitors spent notably through the McTavish street pedestrian street paved with granite, and embellished with numerous ledges and vegetated benches, calling us to contemplation. On the McGill College avenue, one lane of traffic to the south has been replaced by a long placottoir adorned with Adirondack chairs.

In the press conference, Mr. Ménard stressed that the project would ultimately cost$ 49.7 Million or 5.3 million fewer than the last estimate. It is, however,$ 7.7 Million higher than the original estimate. “There has been a challenge in the rehabilitation of the collector under Sherbrooke street, which cost two times more expensive than planned,” explained Mr. Ménard. The underground works have represented almost half of the bill.

For Luc Ferrandez, elected member of projet Montréal, this project is “a dismal failure”. “Look at all this granite, it feels absolutely not on a walking route, it is rather in the marketing,” he said, adding that instead, he might have preferred an immense green corridor between the mountain and the Place Ville-Marie and not to bow before the concerns of the Service de sécurité incendie de Montréal or with respect to areas of delivery.

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The other criticism concerns the poverty of the facilities along the promenade, to the south of rue Sainte-Catherine. “This side, there were fewer opportunities for intervention in the public domain and some of the streets are already redeveloped. But it will be offset by the quality of the animation,” replied Mr. Ménard. In addition to the new works of art, one will find along the route a public market, music concerts, gardening and a library temporary.

Inspired by the Greenways in Vancouver, this project was presented for the first time in 2012, by Alan DeSousa, the elected head of the Environment within the Tremblay administration. Mr. DeSousa has not yet seen first hand the end result. In the interview, he stresses, nevertheless, hoped that this concept of walk will extend to other districts, as originally planned.