Montreal's Mount Royal Could See Some Big Renovations

Including the redevelopment of one of its lookouts and the restoration of the cross.

Senior Editor
Mount Royal Cross. Right: View from the Belvédère Camillien-Houde.

Mount Royal Cross. Right: View from the Belvédère Camillien-Houde.

Montreal's Mount Royal could see some major renovations in the coming years. The city administration is seeking $60 million to carry out improvement projects to the beloved signature park. La Presse was the first to report this story.

In a September 7 meeting, Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles borough mayor and executive committee member responsible for large parks, Mount Royal, sports and recreation Caroline Bourgeois outlined some of the proposed projects in the works.

They include changes to the area around the Maison Smith heritage site by the park's central parking lot; the redevelopment of the Belvédère Camillien-Houde; the greening of unofficial trails visitors have carved over the landscape; and the restoration of the natural environment.

Officials are also eyeing the restoration of the Mount Royal Cross lighting system; trail, stair and bridge improvements; and improved amenities and signage.

The city plans to borrow the $60 million it would need to complete all this work. The loan proposal now heads to the Montreal Agglomeration Council, the regional decision-making body that includes representatives from other on-island municipalities, for approval, which could come at the end of October.

The last time Mount Royal saw major work was in the run-up to Montreal's 375th anniversary. That project included the creation of the Promenade Fleuve-Montagne, a 3.8-kilometre path from the mountain to the St. Lawrence River, and the installation of pretty uncomfortable, multimillion-dollar granite stumps meant to serve as resting areas.

Another notable — and controversial — change to the mountain in recent years was the Plante administration's temporary closure of the mountain's access road to vehicular traffic.

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