Saturday marked the opening of Montreal’s newest green space, Parc Frédéric-Back, which the City of Montreal hopes to transform into an outdoor attraction comparable to New York City’s Central Park.
Formerly the Miron Quarry garbage dump, Parc Frédéric-Back is a huge expanse of 153 hectares, which, in the near future, will continued to be transformed into “something like Central Park,” said a representative of environmental NGO Équiterre, speaking to CTV.
Denis Coderre said the exact same thing in 2015, when the idea for the park was first proposed, so it looks like the plan to create a Montreal-equivalent to Central Park is still on track.
20,000 tons of soil have already been trucked in to space, used to convert the one-time garbage dump into the park residents of Saint Michel (or anyone in Montreal) can enjoy.
The conversion is said to be the “the most ambitious environmental rehabilitation project ever undertaken in an urban area in North America”
Not exactly too impressive, yet, Parc Frédéric-Back is more of a large, open field, with pieces of public art strewn about.
The most prominent display are the large, white “bubbles” found throughout the park, designed in partnership with Montreal architecture group lemay.
More is to be added to the green space, with the development of Parc Frédéric-Back to be completed by 2023.
Picnic areas, more public artwork, and a 360-degree observation deck, which will let you see the entire city, are all promised features of Montreal’s very own “Central Park.”
But as exciting as a giant, new park is, doesn’t Montreal already have a Central Park?
It’s Mount Royal.
In fact, the iconic mountainous park of Montreal was actually designed by the same person who created New York City’s Central Park, Frederick Law Olmsted.
Olmsted was commissioned to create the plans for Mount Royal in 1874, aiming to “highlight the poetic charms of natural scenery” in his design, notes Les amis de la montagne.
Inaugurated on May 24, 1876, Mount Royal has been the “Central Park” Montreal has needed, ever since.
So while we’re not going to complain about Parc Frédéric-Back, and what the city hopes the park will become, we’re just not going to forget about what Mount Royal already offers Montrealers in need of some green space.