Monday, December 07, 2009

downtown's Peel street entrance to Mont Royal Park renovations are almost complete

A visit to downtown Montreal's entrance to Parc Mont Royal.

Sometimes we just go out for a ride, and we don't know where we are going, or where we will end up, and we let red lights and things change our direction in a semi-random manner. We call it unscientific discovery.

Today we discovered that the long sad saga of the falling-apart condition of the entrance to Mount Royal park at the top of Peel Street is coming to an end, meaning extensive, top-to-bottom renovations are almost completed.

We haven't noticed any news about a grand reopening of this Mont Royal park entrance at the top of Peel street. So, we present... the happy result of spending 4.2 million dineros.

There are new stairs at both east and west side of this area, the peel street-end entrance is relocated slightly. Our big surprise was finding an above-ground stream. Yes, a babbling brook cascading down the side of the mountain.

The stream was a surprise, but there was another surprise: a John Lennon-related "Give peace a chance" sculpture. Montreal celebrated Yoko and John's bed-in in Montreal, and there was hoopla last year with a Museum of fine arts John Lennon thing, and this is apparently public art related to that.

Give peace a chance is written in many languages, including braille.

A stream? On Mont Royal? On purpose? Wow, this really is the new millennium!

Not quite reopened yet... so everybody just walks over the fallen fence.

Ever since the Berlin wall fell, fences haven't gotten the respect they once did.

The traditional charm of this entrance to Mount Royal park remain in place.

Inspired by John Lennon

Did you know that this is "A Major Peace Themed Artistic Intervention?"

Is this one inspired by Andy Goldsworthy?

Don't forget, almost everything you see here is placed here by man. You are looking at a "silvicultural and arboricultural program."

Here's some info from the public consultation report:
Ecological management of plant life and water

The developer would like to take advantage of the redevelopment of the Peel entrance to address several problems regarding ecological management of the plant life and water.

Many species of invasive plants have been found. Some areas have been stripped bare by pedestrian use. There are several unofficial entrances to the park. Lastly, run-off water management facilities are severely damaged, and the resultant uncontrolled build-up of water is destroying the paths. A number of operations have been planned to solve those problems.

A silvicultural and arboricultural program has been designed to stop the spread of Norway maple.

Run-off-water management work will be undertaken, and wetlands with variable hydroperiodicity will also be used to control surface waters.

Moreover, the problem of people trampling off designated paths will be solved by building stairs, reforesting and reseeding deteriorated areas, and closing off private entrances to the park. Some of the stairs will be built on piles to promote development of plant and animal life.

Man enjoying the sudden reappearance of above-ground water
, er, wetlands with variable hydroperiodicity.

This is a major improvement to one of the flagship entrances to our beloved Parc Mont Royal. We don't think that downtown is well-linked to the park, but this renovation goes a long way to fix that.

Now we just wish that people would give peas a chance, too.

If you live downtown, go up Peel street right now, this is not to be missed.

The views were always great, but now the stone wall isn't falling down.

The only thing missing were some hot springs to soak in. The one missing feature of our city is hill-side hot springs. Who is to blame for this oversight?

A Groupe Cardinal Hardy project.

We saw their show at UdeM.

Here is a link to the Project plan for this redevelopment. It is very interesting stuff.


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