Montrealers will have to say goodbye to their "winter sports resort." Pente à Neige, Montreal's ski and tubing destination in Parc Ignace-Bourget near Angrignon metro station, was brought to an abrupt end by the Sud-Ouest borough. "It is with surprise and concern that we announce to you today that Montreal’s South-West borough has decided not to renew the agreement which allowed Pente à Neige to offer an urban ski resort at the Ignace-Bourget Park," the organization announced on its website.
"The Southwest Borough has announced that a public consultation will be held on the future of the Ignace-Bourget Park without including Pente à Neige as an option, or even inviting the team to express their views on the issue."
The site included three ski slopes and what it called "the longest tube slides on the island."
Pente à Neige Executive Producer Maxellende Pycke told MTL Blog that her team "was very surprised by the decision" by the borough.
She said that Pente à Neige has "always had a good collaboration" with the Sud-Ouest, but claims the decision was taken unilaterally, without discussions.
In a press release, borough Mayor Benoit Dorais stated that after "the three-year pilot project," the borough is "better equipped to work on a new formula that is better adapted to the needs and demands of our population."
Borough Councilor Anne-Marie Sigouin also said that the site presented safety issues.
But Pycke contests the suggestion that Pente à Neige was responsible for those issues.
"We know there were some safety issues in the free sliding area," she said.
But she claims "this area was not under the supervision of Pente à Neige."*
She also says Pente à Neige was prepared to offer the city additional advice and services to improve the area.
MTL Blog reached out to Councilor Sigouin for a comment but did not receive a response before publication. This article will be updated when we hear back.
As for a path forward for Pente à Neige, Pycke says they're trying to "give a voice" to people who enjoyed the site.
The organization launched a petition on change.org to save the installation in Ignace-Bourget Park.
The Sud-Ouest borough has also set up an online survey for residents to share their ideas for Ignace-Bourget Park.
"We're still open to discussion with the Sud-Ouest borough," Pycke said.
*This article has been updated.