Montreal

Montreal to invest $75M in local parks, shorelines, mayor says

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante says she wants to improve access to Montreal's rivers, as the city plans to invest $75 million in sprucing up public parks and shorelines in the coming three years.

Boroughs have until the end of March to apply for funding

With Plateau-Mont-Royal borough Mayor Luc Ferrandez at her side, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante told reporters Wednesday that boroughs will have control over upgrading parks and shorelines. (CBC)

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante says the city plans to invest $75 million in sprucing up public parks and shorelines in the coming three years.

The aim, said Plante at a Thursday news conference, is to improve access to Montreal's rivers and make parks more welcoming.

Roughly $18 million is earmarked for shorelines, while another $57 million will be invested in parks throughout the city.

When it comes to fixing up shorelines, the city has had a similar program in the past, Plante said, but it only covered five boroughs. Now 11 boroughs will be eligible to apply for a share of the funding before the end of March.

The amounts awarded will be based, in part, on population density.

"It's important for us to consider all the boroughs, whether it is on the Rivière des Prairies or the St. Lawrence side," Plante said.

 "There are a lot of different options."

Those include buying waterfront property or building piers.

"We want to be flexible. We want to be sure to have better access to water."

The city has already committed to spending some $20 million a year on buying more green space — much of which is along the shorelines, Plante said.

The mayor says the city has some 1,300 parks, and many need an upgrade. (Sylvain Charest/CBC Montreal)

Many of the city's 1,300 parks are in need of an upgrade, said the mayor, including renovating existing chalets and improving lighting and pathways.

"We're giving the the ability or financial resources for boroughs to improve their parks for families and the whole population," Plante said.

With files from Jay Turnbull

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