July 19, 2019 3:10 pm
Updated: July 19, 2019 5:47 pm

Plateau residents wary of park expansion plans that will turn street into green space

WATCH: People who live near Baldwin Park in Montreal’s Plateau-Mont-Royal borough say plans to close a local street will negatively impact their quality of life. Global’s Phil Carpenter reports.

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Residents who live around Baldwin Park in Montreal’s Plateau-Mont-Royal borough appreciate how peaceful it is, but they are divided over upcoming plans to expand the park by permanently closing off an a small street that borders it to the south.

“There is no need — it’s big enough,” said Nicole Aoude, who lives nearby.

Terrasse Mercure sits between Fullum and Chapleau streets and goes past Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague elementary school and the Montreal Korean Sarang Church.

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The borough wants to plant almost 30 trees on it, add more bike racks and install a water fountain because it says the street is underused.

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“We also need to take into account that it will be much more secure for the school,” explains borough coun. Josefina Blanco. “Because people were making U-turns.”

Those who live in the area and oppose the plan say it doesn’t make sense to close off the street to traffic.

“First, we lose 36 places of parking and that’s a big deal in Montreal,” says Hugo Hamaou. “And there is a school and church so there’s lots of traffic, so where is that traffic’s going to be? On Fullum and maybe on Chapleau?”

Aoude shares similar concerns.

“We lose parking,” she tells Global News. “This is the most important thing here on the Plateau — we don’t have parking spots.”

Cavan Riordan, who lives a few blocks away, sympathizes with those who will lose parking spots but he supports the plan. Fewer cars is a good thing for the neighbourhood, he added.

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“It’s a tiny street,” he said. “There are other parking spots.”

The borough says there will be parking spots reserved for parents of Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague students on either Chapleau or Fullum or both streets. Some additional parking spots for residents will also be created on other streets.

The construction work will begin sometime in July and wrap up by October, according to the borough.

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