June 11, 2019 12:59 pm
Updated: June 11, 2019 5:49 pm

Turcot nature park should be expanded to include escarpment, pedestrian walkway: report

WATCH: Environmentalists are thrilled that Montreal's Public Consultation Office has come out in support of including more greenspace and the St-Jacques Escarpment in the Turcot Interchange project.

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Plans to create a nature park along the Turcot Interchange should be expanded to include the Saint-Jacques Escarpment, according to a report from Montreal’s public consultation commission.

In its report, the commission points out that the reconfiguration of the Turcot Interchange allows for a large plot of land to be converted to a green space, complete with wetlands and wooded areas — something it says residents support.

READ MORE: Pedestrian walkway over Turcot Interchange gets green light

The commission has made 20 recommendations, including expanding the nature park, which runs alongside Highway 20, to allow it to be a green entryway into the city. It also suggests including Terry Fox Park on Saint-Jacques Street in the project.

WATCH: Turcot pedestrian bridge one step closer to reality


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It proposes expanding the park’s borders to the Saint-Jacques Escarpment, which was not included in the original plan. The report states that the proposed north-south pedestrian walkway and bike path crossing over Highway 20 should boast a “unique, innovative and emblematic look.”

READ MORE: Public consultations to start on Turcot Interchange pedestrian walkway

It calls for a 10-metre green zone of trees and fauna to protect the forested area, which sits between the Turcot Interchange and the Town of Montreal West.

“We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel on this project,” said Sue Montgomery, Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough mayor.

The City of Montreal’s vision for the park and walkway.

City of Montreal

The escarpment is one of 10 eco-territories identified by the City of Montreal in its nature conservation plan.

City officials say the hope is to increase the number of protected environments while at the same time giving residents a new park and improving the look of the entrance to the downtown core.

READ MORE: Commuters, advocates hope Turcot pedestrian bridge actually happens

Sauvons la Falaise founder Lisa Mintz told Global News she is happy with the report, saying the modifications suggested are what she had hoped for in order to protect the area’s ecosystem.

“This is a great step forward, but these are still only suggestions. We want action,” she insisted.

With plans to make the nature park accessible all year round, the report asks that a citizen committee be created to make sure the public continues to have its say in the project.

WATCH: Cyclists rally to push for cyclist-pedestrian bridge on Turcot interchange

The park is expected to take up about 30 hectares of land, sitting between the Sud-Ouest, LaSalle, Lachine and Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce boroughs.

READ MORE: Dozens rally in hopes of getting Turcot cyclist-pedestrian bridge back

The project to build a bridge near the Turcot Interchange was first floated in 2010 by Transports Québec but was later was scrapped due to its estimated $40-million cost before being revived once again.

An information session is planned for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Saint-Raymond Community Centre at 5600 Upper Lachine Rd.

WATCH: What happened to pedestrian overpass in Turcot project?

rachel.lau@globalnews.ca

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