Thanks to everyone who answered Spacing Montreal’s survey about Montreal’s Top Spots. We got over 120 responses from readers. You can read the results for best tourist attraction, best street, best people-watching spot and best artwork.
Municipal politics in Montreal can be farcical, depressing and even disturbing. So when the Spacing Montreal team got together to hatch this survey, we made a point of sticking with the positive. There’s got to be some good people doing some good things out there, and fortunately our readers were willing to give our politicians kudos for that.
Best City Council Member / Meilleur Élu à la ville ou à l’arrondissement
- 1. Luc Ferrandez
- 2. Richard Bergeron
- 3. Nobody
- 4. Louise Harel (tie)
- 5. Alan DeSouza (tie)
- 6. Alex Norris (tie)
Well its easy to see where Spacing Montreal readers’ loyalty lies. Projet Montréal candidates got a full 69% of our readers’ vote (including one shout-out to Peter McQueen, the Projet Montréal neighbourhood representative for lower NDG). Interestingly, Plateau borough mayor Luc Ferrandez garnered far more support than party founder Richard Bergeron who’s behind-the-scenes influence on the Executive Committee is perhaps subtler than the tear-up-the-pavement bonanza going on in the Plateau this summer.
It seems that nobody is better than any member of Vision Montréal or Union Montréal, although opposition leader Louise Harel picked up a couple votes, as did Alan DeSouza, the mayor of Saint-Laurent responsible the Sustainable development dossier on the executive committee.
According to our survey results, any politician who implements city-wide wifi is guaranteed at least one vote.
Best Municipal Initiative / Meilleure initiative municipale
- 1. Bixi
- 2. Plateau street closures, park expansion and traffic calming
- 3. Pedestrianizing Sainte-Catherine Street in the Village
- 4. The Quartier des Spectacles
- 5. Bike paths and lanes
- 6. Turcot interchange redesign
Politics is more than a popularity contest – it’s also about what politicians can acheive in office. Those shiny new Bixis on downtown street-corners easily wowwed the majority of voters, but it can’t be denied that the city’s entire attitude towards cycling has been transformed sinc the 2007 transportation plan. The last two years have seen 140 kms of new bike paths and lanes which haven’t gone unnoticed by our readers.
To me the most interesting thing highlighted in this category was the City’s alternative proposition for the Turcot interchange. Although the Turcot is under provincial jurisdiction, the MTQ’s plans barely acknowledged that they were building in a dense urban area, so local politicians put aside their differences and teamed up to defend the urban landscape and dream up an alternative that would create more livable spaces. The common front led transportation minister Julie Boulet to say that the MTQ will no longer try to impose a project that the city doesn’t want.
Transportation wins: bixi, bike lanes and planning for a better Turcot
Best Makeover (a place that has been transformed in the last decade) / Meilleur transformation (un lieux qui a été amélioré au cours de la dernière décenie).
- 1. Quartier des spectacles / Place des festivales / Place des arts
- 2. Parc-Pine interchange (tie) (see before-after image)
- 3. Quartier International / Place Riopelle / Square Victoria (tie)
- 4. Concordia University and Normand Béthune square
- 5. De Maisonneuve street and bike path (tie)
- 6. Lachine Canal (tie)
- 7. Palais des congrès (tie)
Surprise, surprise. Despite gripping downtown in an ongoing mess of construction for the past few years; despite outrage about lost cherry trees, a barely-discernible bike path, and despite one project that threatened to raze the historic lower Main, the QDS came nabbed the top spot for best makeover. When you take a look at what this same neighbourhood looked like less than a decade ago, the improvement is crystal clear. The public spaces in the area have doubled. Similarly, the Quartier Internationale, which includes Squre Victoria and Place Riopelle, created an elegant business district where there had previously only been the gouge of the Ville-Marie expressway.
The Parc-Pine interchange is kind of like a bad dream – I can barely believe that tangle of overpasses and underpasses was a very concrete reality. Wait, lets get a photo, just to remind ourselves how bad it was…
Photos par Guillaume Saint-Jean
Same for place Normand-Béthune:
Photos by Christopher DeWolf and Adam Bemma
More of your answers will be published shortly on Spacing Montreal!