'Could be a friend, not an enemy': Experts discuss flood waters in Montreal

After spring flooding devastated thousands of Quebec homes, experts shared their best practices on how to deal with floods Saturday in Montreal.

Government officials, experts brainstorm about dealing with floods in Montreal

Architect Paul Thibault thinks flooding needs to be considered in how people build. (Simon Nakonechny/CBC)

After spring flooding affected thousands of Quebecers, experts shared their best practices on how to deal with future floods on Saturday in Montreal.

One major question attendees had at the Quebec Flood Forum, which took place at the Société des arts technologiques on St-Laurent Boulevard, was if they should rebuild in flood zones.

"Do we have to invest in more types of infrastructures that will prevent us from flooding?" Quebec's Environment Minister David Heurtel asked.

"But also, where do we put our streets, where do we build our houses?" 

Architect Paul Thibault said Quebecers should find ways to live with the water instead of obsessing about how to keep it out.

"It could be a friend, not an enemy," he said.

He hoped Quebecers would look to their past for flood solutions. He said in the 19th century, residents built houses that allowed for water to flow beneath them.

Spring floods still impacting residents

Flooding in Quebec remains a concern for many Montrealers who are still suffering from damage to their properties earlier this year.

Spring flooding affected 286 municipalities across Quebec and forced more than 4,000 people from their homes.

By late September, meetings were being held between flood victims and the government after residents complained of a lack of communication about their inspection reports and compensation claims.

Meetings will continue throughout October.

with files from Simon Nakonechny