The Lachine Canal bike path is enjoyed by thousands of cyclists every day in the summer and fall, but once the snow falls, it becomes just a distant memory.
Now a group of dedicated cyclists is trying to change this for those who want to continue in the winter.
Dozens of riders gathered outside Parks Canada offices in Old Montreal on Saturday, asking the federal agency that owns the land to clear snow off the path this winter.
“There’s really no safe alternative streets for people living in Lachine, LaSalle, South West, Verdun to get downtown aside from the Lachine Canal bike path,” said Montreal Coalition for Active Mobility Spokesperson Daniel Lambert.
According to Lambert, it’s something it’s something cyclists have been lobbying for about 10 years but has yet to happen.
For people like Lambert who are reluctant to use public transit amid the pandemic, snow removal is even more important this year.
“What we’re seeing as well is during COVID there’s a lot more people who have switched to biking rather than take public transit for obvious reasons,” he said.
Instead of being cramped on a bus or metro car, he says biking offers the ability to be physically distant from others.
Camille Girard is part of the Association for Active Mobility Lachine Canal, she commutes to work using the Samuel de Champlain Bridge bike path.
The Samuel de Champlain Bridge and Jacques Cartier Bridge multifunctional bike paths are both cleaned in the winter, leaving the Lachine Canal bike path as the only federal path in Montreal which is not cleared.
Girard prefers to use the path to commute as she said it favours mobility and is more environmentally friendly.
“I use Samuel de Champlain multifunctional bike path during the winter which is awesome, because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to do it and I would have to use my car all the time to go to work,” she said.
Global News emailed and called Parks Canada for comment, but did not receive a reply by our deadline.