MONTREAL — Beer cans, cigarette butts and a portable toilet are a part of the abandoned construction site where the planned tribute to Mordecai Richler, a historical gazebo, is meant to stand.
“It’s an eyesore, it just needs to be fixed,”said Alex Norris, Project Montreal’s city councillor for Jeanne Mance.
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre has promised to do the work himself if he has to.
“Trust me, the pressure will be on,” said Coderre. But as Global News reported Tuesday, the construction process has come to a halt.
“We found out there is some lead in the paint, so we have to decontaminate and we have no choice,” said Coderre.
Critics, however, think this is just another excuse.
“There’s every reason to believe that there would be old lead paint in a heritage structure like this,” Norris mentioned. “So to discover that only at the end of the summer of 2015, when this project was to go ahead in 2011… I just don’t think it makes sense.”
This work is not only adding more time but also dollars to the project, raising the bill to half a million dollars. The original cost was pegged at $379,000.
Mount Royal regulars are growing impatient.
“I think it’s a damn shame,” said Michael Mazza, who walks by the gazebo every day.
“It’s been a vacant lot here for quite some time and I think if there was any intention to complete it on time, it would’ve been done now… There’s absolutely no activity and it’s incredible it hasn’t been done.”
“It’s really sad,” said a jogger on the trail by the gazebo.
Work on the gazebo is expected to be completed by the end of September.