A Group Wants Montreal To Have Its Very Own 'High Line' Along The River (VIDEO)


A group that advocates for residents' access to their river is proposing a High Line-like structure in Montreal to better connect the Centre-Sud area and give Montrealers sweeping views of the city, heritage sites, river, and islands.

Les AmiEs du courant Sainte-Marie, which has also called for the creation of a huge urban beach in the Old Port, says that such an elevated pathway would provide a "wonderful window on the river in the east end of Ville-Marie" and become a destination like New York's popular hanging park and the Promenade Plantée in Paris.

Here's what the group envisions.

Why does Sainte-Marie need an elevated pathway?

In a presentation shared with MTL Blog, Les AmiEs du courant Sainte-Marie says that the borough has tended to fragment the neighbourhood in its public consultations.

As a result, the organization contends that attempts to address issues east of the Jacques-Cartier Bridge "are sometimes timid or even non-existent."

The bridge, it says, also presents a unique obstacle, "[dominating] the landscape and [imposing] a major break between the east and west of the neighborhood."

"To say it is 'the elephant in the room' is no exaggeration."

Les AmiEs is challenging the city to take bold action to better connect Sainte-Marie, which, thanks to development around the bridge and CBC/Radio-Canada campus, is undergoing a huge and rapid transformation.

"The river, the bridge, the railroads and rue Notre-Dame form a whole and should not be treated separately," it says in the presentation.

The group also highlights the untapped potential of the space at the south end of the neighbourhood along rue Notre-Dame, which it calls a two-kilometre stretch of "parks and wastelands to be redeveloped."

"This represents a showcase on the river and a rich heritage that should be explored, as many cities have done." 

The port, with its rail lines and stacks of shipping containers, also denies residents a view of the water.

"The views of the river are fantastic here since the river
widens downstream and the bridge doesn’t block the view," Victor Balsis, the Les AmiEs president, told MTL Blog.

"An elevated promenade on the east side would ensure that people who frequent these spaces could also appreciate the gorgeous views."