Mount Royal Cemetery to ban cyclists starting Aug. 1

Last summer, cemetery management warned cyclists about speeding through the winding paths and urged them to bike slowly when descending the steep hills.

Cemetery management says big groups of cyclists compromise pedestrian safety, 'character' of cemetery

Last summer, cemetery management warned cyclists about speeding through the winding paths and urged them to bike slowly on the steep hills. (CBC)

Starting Aug. 1, cyclists will no longer be allowed in Mount Royal Cemetery.

The decision was made, according to the cemetery's president David Scott, because of big groups of cyclists using the hilly grounds as part of their training. This compromises the safety of pedestrians and the "character of the cemetery," according to a post on its website.

"The numbers of particularly sports cyclists have been getting so dramatic and hard to control and becoming really a problem ... with our normal cemetery and funeral visitors, who are using the cemetery for more passive activities," Scott said.

Last summer, cemetery management warned cyclists about speeding through the winding paths and urged them to bike slowly coming down the steep hills. 

The warnings did not seem to work, said Scott.

"We love to see the cemetery full of people walking and enjoying the green space, but ... groups of cyclists in training gear, going down our roads at excessive speeds — it's just become a real problem."

Félix Fortin, a 17-year-old who trains in the cemetery five times a week, says the lack of cars makes the area perfect for practice.

"It's a bit sad, actually," Fortin said.

Félix Fortin, a 17-year-old who trains in the cemetery five times a week, says the lack of cars makes the area perfect for practice. (CBC)

He admits he did have trouble respecting the speed limit on descents, because of how steep the hills are.

"I tried to respect it. I guess some people didn't," Fortin said.

For the next few months, the cemetery will have security guards at each of its entrances.

They'll be there to let cyclists know about the ban.

With files from CBC reporter Valeria Cori-Manocchio