Popular urban ski slope going down hill, Sud-Ouest borough seeking alternatives

Click to play video: 'Montreal urban ski hill won’t be returning this winter' Montreal urban ski hill won’t be returning this winter
WATCH: After three years, a popular ski hill in Montreal's Sud-Ouest borough is getting the axe. Global's Brayden Jagger Haines reports – Jun 18, 2020

After being king of the hill for three years the urban ski resort run by the non-profit organization, Pente a Neige is getting the axe.

The borough has asked the organizers to remove ski lift equipment from the grassy knoll site located in Ignace-Bourget park, in the Sud-Ouest borough.

READ MORE: Montreal non-profit bringing skiing, snowboarding and tubing to South West

The borough says the pilot project that started in 2017 has come to an end and will not be asking the Pente a Neiges to return to the site during the 2020-2021 winter season.   

Organizers claim the borough did not consult them before making their decision to end the program.

“The decision was made without even having a discussion,” Maxellende Pycke Pante a Neige co-founder said.

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Click to play video: 'Pente À Neige brings the ski village life to a metro station near you' Pente À Neige brings the ski village life to a metro station near you
Pente À Neige brings the ski village life to a metro station near you – Feb 28, 2020

According to Pente a Neiges, the slope is the only urban ski hill in North America that is accessible by metro.

Last year they claim to have had over 55,000 visitors to the site.

READ MORE: Snowboarders shred it in downtown Montreal

“It was a pilot project. It was understood after three years we would re-evaluate — that’s where we are at,” Borough Councillor Alain Valillancourt said.

“We can agree people want something here, what we need to refocus on is what do they want and who its for,” Vaillancourt said.

The hill was a victim of its own success — attracting too many people to the area, Vaillancourt said.

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People came from all over, which caused numerous issues including parking and hill access for local residents.

The borough claims they received numerous complaints from residents who said the privatization the hill was an issue.

Vaillancourt said 80 per cent of the space was used by Pente a Neiges which left little to no room for residents who want to go downhill for free.

 READ MORE: LaSalle urban ski slope soars in popularity and doubles lesson registrations

So far, the non-profit claims a total of $2.9 million a has been invested into the hill equipment.

They have launched a petition calling on the borough to reinstate their contract to bring back the project next winter. More than 1,500 people have signed on since Thursday.

A public consultation on the future of the park has been launched by the borough.

Residents will be able to say what they want to see for the future of the hillside.

“It could be tubing , snowboarding but it has to be in our means and in our budget,” Vaillancourt said.

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The consultation will be open until July 10.

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