Alright, friends, the snow has officially hit. Which, sure, means a whole lot of transportation problems and a general, unified sense of rage... but! It also means a whole lot of pretty great things, too.
Showcase your snowboarding skills all winter long!
Joseph Roby | CNW Group/Parc Olympique
Snowboarding in the city just got a lot easier. Vans and the Dillon Ojo Foundation, which was founded in 2018 in honour of Montreal pro snowboarder and artist Dillon Ojo, have combined forces to create a state-of-the-art snowpark at the Parc Olympique. Montrealers can now live out their snowboard dreams right in the heart of the city, and the best part, it's free!
Located near the Viau metro station, the Dillon Ojo Snowpark offers a total of eight obstacles, including a medium-sized jump and an array of sliding rails ranging in difficulty level for snowboarders of all ages to enjoy. The park will be open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until the end of March or as long as the weather permits.
Joseph Roby | CNW Group/Parc Olympique
The snowpark, which faces the famous Olympic Tower, took over two weeks to build and required over 5,000 cubic metres of snow.
The idea came about through the Dillon Ojo Foundation, which was created by Elaine Charles, the mother of the late Dillon Ojo. The 22-year-old died in an accident in 2018. Charles created the foundation in his memory, with a mission to "increase accessibility to sports."
Considering Ojo's two favourite activities were snowboarding and skateboarding, the partnership with Vans to create the spectacular snowpark was an easy choice to make.
"We want everyone to be able to discover and take part in this fine sport which our son loved so much. We know he would have wanted to pass on his passion to the greatest possible number of people, so we took on this mission in his honour," said Charles.
The City of Montreal has announced that it will be moving forward with investments on seven projects that were selected by Montrealers.
The investment will come from the city's first-ever participatory budget, which allowed citizens to choose their favourite projects.
Over a two-year period, $10 million will go to seven projects that got the most overall votes from the population. Six projects will be spread out over 14 boroughs and one project will encompass the entire territory of Montreal.
"What emerges from the selected projects is the importance that people place on improving their living environment, protecting nature in the city and reclaiming public spaces for the benefit of the entire population," Mayor Valérie Plante said in a statement.
The following projects were selected for investment:
A budget of $2.7 million will be used for building more than 125 water fountains that will allow for refilling reusable water bottles in Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Île-Bizard–Sainte-Geneviève, Mercier–Hochelaga–Maisonneuve, Outremont, Saint-Léonard and Ville-Marie.
Montreal's Le Boulevard shopping centre can stay in business after all. The news comes following an April announcement that Le Boulevard would be closing its doors after 68 years in operation, as the city of Montreal prepared to take over the property rights for the extension of the Société de transport de Montreal (STM)'s blue line.
According to a news release by Quebec's Ministry of Transport, the iconic shopping centre can remain open past December 1 when the STM officially becomes the owner of the property.
"One of the goals of the work was to limit the project's impact on the shopping centre and the activities of merchants," reads the ministry's statement.
The task force proposed revising the size of the terminal, the parking area and the centre's storage space for construction materials in order to preserve the building as a solution so that merchants could have the opportunity to continue to sell goods and services to shoppers, the news release says.
According to the ministry, the Quebec government's acquisition of the shopping centre was a decision made by the Tribunal administratif du Québec and was not foreseen by the STM.
At the time this was written, Le Boulevard's Facebook page was no longer active.
Forty-five years ago, on July 17, thousands of world-class athletes gathered in Montreal for the opening ceremony of the 1976 Summer Olympics. To commemorate Montreal's Olympic Games, the Olympic Park is launching a new memorial project on its Esplanade — and it will involve augmented reality (AR) to make it more interactive.
The project will focus on the areas where the flags of each country that participated in the Montreal Summer Games are held. In a statement, the Olympic Park said that not all of the participating countries' flags can be displayed due to several flagpoles being removed and flags that are "non-compliant."
It also said that the flags of several African countries are missing due to the international movement to end apartheid in South Africa, which the Park wants to explain to visitors in some way.
According to its announcement, the changes to the Esplanade will reflect "the historical reality of 1976 and the geopolitical changes that have occurred since, in an educational, contextual and pedagogical perspective."
The Park wants to leverage AR to do that. It plans to use QR codes near the countries' flags that visitors can scan on smartphone cameras for more information on the changes that have happened in the world since the Montreal Olympic Games, and it plans to update the information every year to reflect ongoing global changes.
"In 1976, 94 countries met here in Montreal to compete in sports events. The geopolitical context of the time has since evolved and is no longer the same for many of them, 45 years later," said a statement by Michel Labrecque, president and CEO of the Olympic Park.
"It is therefore a great opportunity to talk about history and geography, especially with young people, and especially on the anniversaries of the Montreal Olympic Games."
The Olympic Park is aiming to have the project completed by July 2022.