Montreal outlines land for 60-hectare Parc de la falaise at Saint-Jacques Escarpment

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

The City of Montreal is one step closer to making the much-anticipated Parc de la falaise a reality.

Public consultations gave the project the green-light last year and now the city has put a reserve on a 1.8-kilometre stretch of land between the Saint-Jacques Escarpment and Notre-Dame Street.

“We gave the status of a park to this field and we are going to try to have an agreement with private owners,” said Montreal city councillor and executive committee member Robert Beaudry, referring to a small portion of the land at the park’s north-end entrance that still needs to be purchased.

“It’s going to be a new green space between the boroughs of Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and the Sud-Ouest.”

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

The 60-hectare nature park will sit on the eco-territory of the Saint-Jacques Escarpment, and will include wetlands and wooded areas open to the public.

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Montreal’s public consultation commission ruled in favour of the project in June 2019 and suggested that a pedestrian walkway over the Turcot Interchange be included with a “unique, innovative and emblematic look.”

The city’s elected official responsible for parks insists the overpass will be part of the plan but details will come at a later date.

“The link is absolutely on the table for the next step,” said Beaudry.

READ MORE: Pedestrian walkway over Turcot Interchange gets green light

Environmental groups have been calling for the land to be preserved for decades. The escarpment is one of 10 eco-territories identified by the City of Montreal in its nature conservation plan.

Montreal’s mayor insists moving forward with the plan during the COVID-19 pandemic is no coincidence.

“Right now more than ever, we understand the importance of offering Montrealers green spaces,” said Valérie Plante in a statement.

“The project falls within our efforts to attain 10% of protected land on a local level and is in line with our support of the United Nations project Decade of Ecosystem Restoration.”

Click to play video: 'Environmental activists applaud city’s move to preserve greenspace on the West Island of Montreal'
Environmental activists applaud city’s move to preserve greenspace on the West Island of Montreal

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