Les amis sound the alarm regarding Mount Royal's protection challenges

2012-11-15

Montreal, November 15, 2012 – Mount Royal’s integrity is at risk. With the imminent closure of numerous institutions located on the flanks of the mountain, the next 10 years will mark Mount Royal by the most profound changes it has undergone in the last 150 years. The greater metropolitan community must mobilise to address these challenges head-on.

“With a new provincial government in place and a new municipal administration on the way, the gains achieved by the community for Mount Royal’s protection cannot be taken for granted,” said Peter A. Howlett, C.M., President of Les amis de la montagne, at a press conference held today at Maison Smith in Mount Royal Park.

The four major challenges facing the mountain in the short-term are:

1.    The vocation changes of numerous institutional properties on the flanks of the mountain, such as the relocation of the Hôpital Hôtel-Dieu (2014), the Royal Victoria Hospital (2015) and the Shriners Hospital for Children (2015), and the conversion of the Sulpicians’ former philosophy seminary and the former convent of the Soeurs des Saints-Noms-de-Jésus-et-de-Marie;

2.    The densification of downtown by increased building heights that, little by little, contributes to the disappearance of the mountain’s silhouette as a dominant landmark in the urban and metropolitan landscape;

3.    The preservation of great institutional domains of heritage interest located outside the perimeter of the protected territory, such as the Grand Séminaire de Montréal and the overall Villa-Maria property;

4.    The complexity of the management mechanisms in place for the mountain territory.

In order to encourage the community’s pursuit of these challenges, Les amis de la montagne have decided to organize a summit in the spring of 2013 that will bring together all stakeholders interested in seeing the mountain flourish.

“We must mobilize the community and harness the knowledge of experts from a variety of fields to find acceptable solutions to the challenges related to the impending changes of numerous institutional properties on the mountain. It will be essential to prioritize the search for solutions in advance, in consultation with the public authorities, institutional property owners and representatives of the community, to ensure that the changes to these properties are in the best interest of the entire community,” said Marcel Côté, founding partner of Groupe SECOR, Director of the Board of Les amis de la montagne and honorary chairman of the Summit of 2013.

Les amis de la montagne prepared an assessment document providing an analysis of the four challenges, titled “Considerations for the future of Mount Royal” available in PDF format by clicking on this link.

ABOUT LES AMIS DE LA MONTAGNE
Les amis de la montagne is a non-profit registered charitable organization dedicated to the protection and enhancement of Mount Royal through community involvement and environmental education. Led by a Board of Directors comprised of citizens and members of the business community of Montreal, the organization counts on the support of nearly 200 governors, ambassadors who represent different sectors of the community and contribute, via their interests and their capacity, to the mission of the organization.

-30-

Source: Les amis de la montagne

Information:
Gabrielle Korn
Director of Communications
Les amis de la montagne
514 843-8240, ext. 237
webmestre@lemontroyal.qc.ca
www.lemontroyal.qc.ca