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A Major Part Of Downtown Montreal Will Be Locked Down Next Week & You'll Want To Avoid It

COP15? More like COP500+. 🚓⛔

MTL Blog, Associate Editor
Montreal's Palais des Congrès.

Montreal's Palais des Congrès.

If you think getting around downtown Montreal and navigating blocked metro entrances is a challenge right now, just wait until tens of thousands of environmentalists descend on the city.

An estimated 15,000 attendees of the 15th annual Conférence des parties (COP15) United Nations conference, also known as the 2022 Montreal Biodiversity Conference, will converge on the Palais des Congrès between December 7 to 19 and the municipal government, RCMP, SQ and SPVM are all joining forces to keep security tight.

Downtown traffic disruptions are slated to start on November 7, as authorities prepare for a major security overhaul of the area. You'll want to avoid the roads surrounding the Palais des Congrès, including Saint-Urbain and Saint-Antoine Streets, Viger Avenue and Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle. The Ville-Marie tunnel is expected to stay open during the event, as are nearby cycling routes, like the REV.

A barrier will go up around the Palais des Congrès next week and, once the conference is underway, all entry into the building will be guarded and monitored 24/7 by at least 500 officers.

The SPVM announced earlier this week that COP15 is manifesting the largest Montreal police operation in the past two decades.

Meanwhile, the RCMP will collaborate with the UN to create an extra secure "blue zone" in the conference centre between December 1 and 20, to protect participating global heads of state from over 200 countries. A special convoy is even planned to take international delegations from the airport directly to the Palais des Congrès.

"COP15 is a major event that requires exceptional measures… Our teams are also hard at work to support businesses, hotels and restaurants, and will continue to do so during and after COP15," said City of Montreal spokesperson Philippe Sabourin.

Montreal is this year's conference host, after elevated COVID-19 risk prevented China from following through on its plans to hold the event.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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