Saturday, May 10, 2014

Time to turn the parking lots of soon-to-close MUHC hospitals into parkland and add them to Parc Mont Royal

Area in yellow: Addition to Parc Mont Royal. Red line: new bike path.

Montreal need to decide: Is Mont Royal, with its beautiful and amazing Parc Mont Royal and protected ecological and heritage status, better off as a park or should its value be wasted and let's just keep using it as a parking lot. A parking lot! The answer is obviously no, Mont Royal is not better off being used as a  parking lot.

I am referring to the upcoming closure of the MUHC's Royal Victoria Hospital, a facility that was to remain "forever public" in the donation documents, and its recently-constructed (post WW2) parking lots that deface and vandalize the ecological region that is our jewel of Montreal: Mont Royal. 

These parking lots, which border the downtown edge of Parc Mont Royal, should be converted to park land and added to Parc Mont Royal. A bike path should be added through the parking lots to create a new, safe, scenic, bike path from points north and east of downtown into central downtown.

The upcoming 375 anniversary of the founding of Montreal is an appropriate moment in time to make this dream a reality.

The fact that this valuable land is being used for mere parking lots is a black stain on how much the MUHC and city government truly value the heritage value of Mont Royal. This is the perfect moment to remedy this neglect to what all Montrealers agree is the jewel in the crown of our beautiful city of Montreal.


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