A new pedestrian installation along Gouin Boulevard Ouest aims to revitalize the old Sainte-Geneviève village.
Over the past week, work crews have been preparing and installing the new pedestrian rest area.
Concrete jetty barriers and log chairs line the thoroughfare for a 275-metre stretch.
It’s the latest project to entice people to the heritage area.
“We want to give a new look to Sainte-Geneviève and attract people and businesses,” borough mayor Normand Marinacci said.
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The wood long benches are only the first of a three-phase project according to the mayor.
The first phase is being done in partnership with the city centre. The borough will only have to pay $20,000 with the city taking up the lion’s share of the $170,000 price tag.
The three-year transformation will be part of the wider revitalization project of the area.
The section of Gouin Boulevard Westcould be turned into a one-way street with a bike path and planters on either side, Marinacci said.
“We have three years ahead of us so we have time to consult the citizens, on what they want,” Marinacci said, adding that the total budget for the complete project is close to $600,000.
So far views are mixed on the early endeavor.
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Local business owners along the street are upset with the borough over the loss of some 20 street parking spaces.
Owners of Chauffage Pierrefonds told Global News they aren’t impressed with the project saying they never received any warning about the massive undertaking outside their front door, which they claim will not benefit them.
Marinacci admits the process could have been handled better.
“We didn’t have the time to let our businesses know — I agree there was a lag there,” he said.
Not everyone is upset with the new installation, however. Dr. Piotr Francuz who runs a dental clinic on Gouin says the project is welcome in the struggling area.
“There is a nice history here of this region. The whole project seems really interesting,” Francuz said.
While he admits the loss of parking is an issue it is a small one, as he and many other businesses along the boulevard have parking lots behind their buildings.
“Yes we lose parking but we’re going to have something better,” Francuz said. “People are going to be walking around and it will probably be very interesting to share our history.”
READ MORE: Montreal turns stretch of Crescent into pedestrian-only street amid coronavirus pandemic
The first phase of the project is expected to be completed by mid-December.
The first of several public consultations on the future of the area are expected to be held early in the new year.
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