Big O esplanade to become 'urban park'
A portion of the land around Montreal's Olympic Stadium will soon be transformed from concrete expanse to lively public space.
Plans are in the works to upgrade the area known as the esplanade at the western end of the stadium to an urban park.
Currently, the 17,000 square-metre space is a dated stretch of concrete and grass terraces.
"The current location is a magnificent example of 70’s architecture," David Heurtel, head of the administration at the Olympic Park, said with a laugh.
The park’s administration is spending $7 million over three years to develop the grounds with sporting, cultural and sustainable development installations.
Heurtel said he wants to make the space a unique destination people seek out and one where they want to stay.
Réal Ménard, mayor of the east-end borough, said he hopes the improvements will provide even more of a draw for the neighbourhood.
"If it’s accessible, if it’s free, there’s no reason to imagine why the family will not plan to come and spend a lot of time in the Olympic Stadium," he said.
The financial company Sun Life has signed on as a corporate sponsor and will have its name attached to the new esplanade.