Happy Birthday Mount Royal Park

Last year I blogged about the Journée Nationale des Patriotes (except that I left out the ‘Nationale‘ and got called on it in the comments). It used to be Dollard Day but nobody was into it, and way before that it was Queen Victoria’s Mother’s birthday for whatever that’s worth.

But here’s something that perhaps all Montrealers can all agree to celebrate every May 24th: it’s Mount Royal Park’s birthday. The park was inaugurated on this day in 1876, making her 134 years young!

Cher Mont Royal, c’est à ton tour

de te laisser parler d’amour….

The mountain got one gift recently: the Executive Committee finally reined in a proposal for luxury condo development and single-family dwellings on at the former Marianopolis site. The mayor said that the developer will only be allowed to convert the existing buildings into condos, but not to build any new structures. The proposal by Cato Inc. would have required changes to the urban plan and countered the city’s plan for the protection and enhancement of Mount Royal, adopted in April 2009.

There’s still more controversy raging, with Université de Montréal hoping to sell off another chunk of land to private developers and a debate over whether to cut through-traffic out of the park. But lets talk about all that another time and take this moment to appreciate what we’ve got. For those who want to celebrate in situ, Les amis de la montagne are offering a tour entitled “Une montagne vivante.”

Mount Royal photograph cc abdallahh; cheezy photoshopping by yours truly

4 comments

  1. Well, happy birthday Mont Royal.

    Other projects that deface mont royal and are GOING AHEAD include the building beside the montreal general hospital (and which the developer is trying to get rezoned from residential to big-buck doctor office commercial zoning, and the horrible hideous worst-nightmare-come-true expansion to Molson stadium and it’s superjumbo video screen removing any idea that an oasis of tree-filled calm is what Mont Royal should be treasured for.

    Speaking of the Molson Stadium expansion, they tore up the park’s dirt road just outside the stadium east gate last winter with heavy equipment, and six months later the park road is still in a condition that is below third world waste land. Perhaps the city could ask the stadium construction team to please fix the road they destroyed so that the park’s users could walk on the road without encountering multiple massive deep craters and giant rocks? Perhaps restore it to the nice condition it was BEFORE the stadium construction started? Please?
    Our birthday wish is for the 6-lane autoroute racetrack/highway style section of Cote-Ste-Catherine road between Mont Royal avenue and Parc Avenue be completely removed and a prestige –and safe– entrance to the parc be built in it’s place. This uber-highway is completely needless (except it looks good in satellite photos space). It makes a major barrier to safely entering Parc Mont Royal from the north. When closed the cars on Cote-ste-Catherine can do a little joggle on Mont Royal to get to Parc Avenue just fine, in my opinion. And this would remove the crazy high speed driving that this wide road encourages. Time to rebuild this on a human-scale. Drapeau’s vision of Mont Royal an a car shortrcut in every dimension has started to be removed (witness the pine-parc interchange) and this corner of the parc should be the next corner of the park to be rehabilitated. (and after this comes the corner of Cedar and Cotes Des Neiges – which is a grand prix race track more than a safe street beside hospital – not even a sidewalk or a danger sign at the parc entrance there!!! Close this bypass, and make a decent park entrance for the people who live near this corner of the beautiful Mont Royal park.

    You cannot have a high-speed autoroute-style bypass roads and urban parc entrances cohabiting as we presently have in these two corners of Mont Royal Park.

  2. It’s Queen Victoria’s birthday. She’s not the same person as the Queen Mother (Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon) who died in 2002.

  3. I planted yet another blueberry bush on Mount Royal for its birthday. Yay!

  4. There’s simply nothing like Mont Royal in any other city in the world. I’m very happy to see that the City has nixxed the initial plan for the Marianopolis development. I walked about the grounds last year and that is truly a space worth saving. Transform the school building? Yes. Replace the hideous rec centre? Yes, but don’t build single-family homes or condos on the rest of the site.

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