The La Ronde amusement park has occupied the northern third of Île Sainte-Hélène since, well, the very creation of the island in its current form. From Montreal Island, it appears like a gleaming tangle of metal towers pumping out the foul perfume of fried dough, warm ketchup and hot dog water. But a recent Reddit post by history and architecture blogger Martin Bérubé (Propos Montréal) challenges Montrealers to reimagine the asphalt expanse, asking "if La Ronde were to close, what would you like to see in this space" instead?
The post attracted over 400 comments, many offering tantalizing alternatives, from a new signature park to a cat sanctuary.
In fact, most of the top commenters wanted to see the site become a public amenity.
- u/traboulidon suggested a new urban forest with a beach and waterfront access — "bonus for an educational public building: a f[******] big aquarium with emphasis on Saint-Lawrence River species."
- u/Znkr82 proffered an extension of the neighbouring Parc Jean-Drapeau.
Several others imagine something similar, but quieter than Jean-Drapeau's festival-packed plazas.
- u/ohbother12345 sees potential for "a park for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, walking, running, biking etc. open 365 days a year and never closed, so no events."
- u/Saasori called for a nature park, "something that is not ruined by concrete like on the other side of the island."
Two other users looked to Vancouver for inspiration.
- u/One_Cookie_431 imagines something like Stanley Park "with bike paths, hiking trails, access to the river, maybe some tree swings, places to have picnics, big signs with pictures about all the biodiversity and how to identify different plants and animals."
- u/gepinniw suggested a more commercial venue similar to Vancouver's Granville Island, a former industrial site transformed into a sprawling public market with "artists' studios, artisans, craftspeople, cafés, etc. Public space to chill, people watch. All local businesses, no corporate stuff."
Several other commenters wanted the site to remain an amusement park, just with an upgrade.
- There are various calls for some sort of "La Ronde 2" (u/DaSkull), a second Canada's Wonderland (u/nukedkaltak), or Coney-Island-like attraction (u/traderxe) showcasing the best of local folk foods.
Other La Ronde replacement ideas include a new baseball stadium and affordable housing.
- Others veered into the ridiculous: a "Beachclub 2: L'enfer de St-Lambert" (u/jenlou289), a Walmart with an extra large parking lot (u/North-Macaron-861), and even a big dildo (u/le_pouding).
- Montreal's REV Bike Lane Extension To The West Island Will Include A New Bridge Over The A-40 ›
- Everything You Need To Know About The Giant New Montreal Park That Will Become The Largest In Canada ›
- A Canadian Newcomer Asked Reddit How To Save On Groceries & The Replies Offered Solid Advice - MTL Blog ›