Montreal

Dorval backtracks on plan to charge for picnic table reservations

The proposal from Dorval city council to charge $10 for residents $25 for non-residents to reserve a picnic table was met with lots of pushback. It's now changed its mind.

Critics said original plan would have created barriers for low-income people

The city of Dorval now says a reservation system for picnic tables at its two busiest parks will only be in place on weekends. It will be limited to residents, but grabbing a table will be free. (CBC)

 A Montreal suburb is backtracking on a plan to charge members of the public to reserve picnic tables in two of its most popular parks.

The city of Dorval issued a notice Tuesday saying it will still move forward with a reservation system on weekends, but that it will be free and limited to residents.

Dorval's city council caused a stir last month after it proposed charging $10 for residents and $25 for non-residents to reserve a picnic table for four hours.

A spokesperson for the city said at the time authorities were looking for a way to manage a surge in demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that saw some groups hogging the tables all day long.

The proposal drew criticism from citizens and from a park advocacy group that worried the fee system would create a barrier for low-income people.

Dorval says the reservation system will only apply in two of the busiest parks and only on weekends, and that anyone can use a table that hasn't been reserved.

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