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Montreal cemetery considers legal action over city’s plan to ban vehicles from road

Click to play video: 'Roadblock : Montreal cemetery considers legal action over city’s plan to ban vehicles from mountain road'
Roadblock : Montreal cemetery considers legal action over city’s plan to ban vehicles from mountain road
WATCH: Officials at Mount Royal cemetery in Montreal say plans by the Plante administration to bar vehicles from Camillien-Houde violate a decades-old agreement. Furthermore, they argue that the closure will create difficulties for their clients. As Global’s Phil Carpenter reports, the cemetery is considering legal action. – Nov 29, 2023

Officials at Mount Royal Cemetery believe if the city follows through with plans to close Camillien-Houde Way to cars, Montreal would be in violation of what they say is a century-old agreement.

“Camillien-Houde was partially built on what was possessed by the Mont-Royal Cemetery,” explained Maxime Jacques, the company’s executive director.

He says when they gave the city the property, it was agreed that the cemetery would have access to the street in perpetuity. That happened in 1928.

“So the city’s plan is going outside of the specified contracts that we had,” he insisted.

Furthermore, says the cemetery, if the closure happens there’ll be even more scenes of cars speeding through the cemetery.

“We are worried that people using our cemetery as a short-cut will just endanger our employees, the visitors of the cemetery,” Jacques pointed out.

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In September, the City of Montreal announced plans to close Camillien-Houde to traffic in 2027. Motorists travelling east from Côte-des-Neiges using Remembrance Road would meet a dead end where the street changes to Camillien-Houde, right at the south entrance to Mount Royal Cemetery.

Jacques stressed that “this entrance is used by most of our visitors as our main entrance.”

He feels motorists would just drive through the cemetery to the north gate, to get to the other end of Camillien-Houde. To prevent that, he believes they would have to close the south gate, making the cemetery less accessible and bad for business.

Click to play video: 'After years of back and forth, Montreal’s Camillien-Houde road to close'
After years of back and forth, Montreal’s Camillien-Houde road to close

Jacques worries potential clients might choose another burial ground. They have sent a lawyer’s letter to the Plante administration about the issue.

The mayor says she understands the cemetery’s concerns.

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“Of course we will continue to have those conversations to reassure them to come up with compromises,” she told reporters during a briefing Wednesday. “That’s how we work.”

Officials at the cemetery say they just want to city to abide by the agreement.

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