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Photo : © Mario Francoeur

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A possible bright future for the former Royal Victoria Hospital

On May 24, the commissioners of the Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM) filed a detailed report following the public consultation on the Master Development Plan for the former Royal Victoria Hospital site, which sparked large-scale community mobilization. The report accurately illustrates the sensitive nature of the required approach, as well as the scope of the issues surrounding the site, which will require policy-makers to adopt informed, responsible and sophisticated choices to ensure that we can continue to celebrate our heritage and enjoy this picturesque, mountainside location for a long time to come. Les Amis de la montagne is calling on the City of Montreal, the Government of Quebec and McGill University to give positive follow-up to the commissioners’ recommendations.

After more than 20 years of cooperation and advocacy by Les Amis de la montagne and our partners, we welcome this report, which supports our efforts to make the repurposing of the Royal Victoria Hospital site a truly public project (see the brief submitted by Les Amis). In it, the commissioners address fundamental issues such as keeping the land in the public domain, publishing the development agreement, establishing better guidelines for authorized usages of the site and getting representatives of civic society involved in the project’s governance, as well as extending Mount Royal Park towards the city centre, developing measures to ensure exemplary ecological management of the site and adopting best practices to ensure that the Mount Royal Heritage Site is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (read the OCPM report). Right from the start, Les Amis de la montagne will be a key partner in terms of integrating and implementing the recommendations and developing custom solutions for the site’s governance.

It should be noted that immediate action is needed to preserve the buildings on the former Royal Victoria Hospital site, which are quickly deteriorating due to prolonged disuse and inadequate maintenance. Authorization must be obtained to conduct this urgent work as soon as possible, while proceeding with the regulatory changes and discussions required to identify the most effective current urban planning, governance and funding tools that will make it possible to preserve the site’s integrity, heritage, and civic and community character.

Click here to learn more about our approach and vision for the former Royal Victoria Hospital site.

Photo: Joël Guilbault


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