December 11 was declared “International Mountain Day” by the United Nations in 2003. It’s the occasion to raise awareness about the importance of mountains for life on earth and to highlight the opportunities and challenges the sustainable development of mountains.
While our modest Mount Royal may remain in the shadows of the worlds’ most prominent mountains, such as the Himalayas or the Pyrenees, Montrealers are unanimous in their affirmation of the monumental importance of this precious green space in the heart of our city.
The Top-10 list of the most emblematic symbols of Montreal revealed in the Journal Métro on December 5 echoes this shared sentiment; a jury composed of 40 influential Montreal personalities placed Mount Royal at the summit of the list!
At Les amis de la montagne’s suggestion, explorer Bernard Voyer provided the newspaper with a glowing testimonial, full of admiration for Mount Royal. The mountain that he explores every day with both pleasure and pride is at the centre of his life, a place he visits to relax, a point of reference in our city, a natural symbol of our identity whose protection and conservation is essential.
If Mount Royal appears to be the eternal backdrop of our lives, it nevertheless remains vulnerable to climatic changes that disturb its natural environment and a variety of human activities that compromise its heritage assets. Over the centuries, citizen involvement in the preservation of the mountain has remained an essential element in the survival of this common good that we defend for the benefit of current and future generations.
On this International Mountain Day then, let us pay homage to the thousands of individuals who have contributed to the perpetuity of Mount Royal and let us salute our beautiful mountain that provides us with an urban quality of life unique in North America.
Photo: Ville de Montréal