Montreal has launched a new protection plan for Mount Royal. It’s effective immediately once it goes through council this week. Helen Fotopolous, who’s the City’s executive committee member responsible for environment, says this isn’t just another exercise in planting bushes. Rather it is a $30-million plan to be rolled out over five years. It deals with everything from improving public transit access to the Mountain, to protecting views of the mountain from about 100 points in the city. Ruining the view, she warns, will damage both Montreal’s identity and economic interest in the city. She says 18 of these protected views are currently threatened by proposed projects.
Building requirements will consider the height of structures, and builders will also have to consider rules about landscaping. Fotopolous says they’re not interested in putting a stop to development and this has the group Friends of the Mountain concerned. They’ve been one of the groups contributing to the plan. They’re happy to actually see the word “protection” in the plan, but they’re not sure the City will ever say no to expansions of the hospitals and educational institutions that share the mountain. Fotopolous says they’re still open for input.
The part of the plan I’m looking forward to is an upgrade of the trail network on the mountain. The plans show they want to link the three summits so the 5-million visitors each year can enjoy more of the park.
For more coverage check out the Gazette’s article.
Photo by Christopher DeWolf