Although it may seem serene, the waterfront on Nun’s Island is controversial ground.
Many residents stroll along unaware of what’s hidden just below the waters.
Look a little closer and you can see it: trees chopped down, teeth marks still visible.
Last spring, the borough approved a pilot project to trap and sterilize beavers that are chewing up the greenery.
Now, as summer ends and mothers are feeding their young, the final phase is set to be carried out.
“The last step is supposed to be trapping these beavers, then taking them to the Biodome and sterilizing them,” said city councillor Sterling Downey.
The borough estimates 650 trees have already been taken down by beavers.
Part of the preventative measure is to install grates around larger trees on the waterfront to prevent the rodents from being able to chew them.
“The mayor has said in the past that it’s a question of public security,” said Downey.
“Deaths by beavers or trees falling has been very limited. I don’t even think there’s any that have been recorded.”
The beaver tale has been ongoing for years.
At first, trappers were hired to find and kill the rodents.
The Montreal SPCA and city councillors, including Downey, denounced the plan, so administration came up with the pilot project to try to control the population.
Downey insisted the borough and the beavers need to start getting along.
“We’re very lucky we live along the waterfront, along the shore,” he said.
“It’s a bonus to have access to that shoreline and to have access to wildlife.”