"Early discussions" are underway to designate a new "national urban park" in Montreal, Parks Canada says. The federal agency is pursuing similar initiatives in the Edmonton area, Halifax, the Saskatoon area, the Victoria, B.C., area, Windsor and Winnipeg.
The national urban parks program is in its infancy. Parks Canada is still in the process of writing the policy that will govern it. But the idea is that it would generally involve partnerships with municipalities, provinces and First Nations to designate eligible areas and create a collaborative management structure.
The federal government first named Montreal as one of the program's target areas in 2021, but hasn't identified the land a new park could comprise. One summer 2022 suggestion from the Côte Saint-Luc municipal council is the federally-owned green space bordering Montreal-Trudeau Airport to the north, which today comprises the Technoparc, Golf Dorval course and butterfly migration stopping point known as the Monarch butterfly fields.
It's unclear what those "early discussions" look like, but, according to a process outlined by Parks Canada, they could involve deliberations with local governments about the size and administration of a potential Montreal park.
Candidate areas in the other provinces include Vancouver Island's Fort Rodd Hill-Fisgard Lighthouse "and nearby areas," the Meewasin Valley near Saskatoon, the Ojibway Prairie Complex in Windsor, and the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes area in Halifax.
Parks Canada announced in May 2023 that it had moved into the "planning" phase for Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes in collaboration with the Halifax Regional Municipality, Mi'kmaq, Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Nature Trust. These groups will next develop what the agency calls a "park vision," determine a budget and reach out to the public for input.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.