What do you think of the $55.4 Montreal urban walkway?
As part of Montreal’s 375th anniversary celebrations, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre announced in February of 2015 that the city would be building a 3.8km path that would run from the St. Lawrence River right up to the foot Mount Royal. With it would come ‘a festive program of events bringing the walkway to life so that residents and tourists can make it their own. A public market, edible landscaping, gourmet food vendors, educational exhibitions, an outdoor library, musical performances and arts/culture are among the activities on the agenda.’
In theory, it seemed like a welcome initiative – but upon closer inspection, many Montrealers wondered why so much money would be spent on something not really necessary and involve even more overwhelming infrastructure work, when there were so many more important ways to spend their tax dollars. And not surprisingly, it has also come in over budget and late.
Officially called the Promenade Fleuve-Montagne, it was supposed to cost $42.4 million, then climbed to $49.7 million – and then the final price tag came in at a whopping $55.4 million. And with all that, parts of the project were scaled back, but the city said it was for ‘for technical reasons and to satisfy the requests of nearby residents’ and that it was ‘true to what was announced’.
It was supposed be ready for May 16th, but was finally inaugurated two months later on July 17th. There are some people who find parts of it rather beautiful and like the idea of the public art and the events scheduled to take place along the path – as well as having more places to sit down. But it is not going over well with many other Montrealers who find it failed to impress upon them and it is ‘mostly just a lot of painted lines and arrows’ and not at all worth the millions of dollars spent on it.
What do you think? Will you be taking a stroll anytime soon along the ‘Promenade Fleuve-Montagne’? Or do you think this has been a ‘downhill path’ from the start?