The recent proposal to hold a downhill ski world cup on Mount Royal in 2020 generated a lot of reaction in the press. As a non-profit dedicated to the protection and improvement of Mount Royal, Les amis de la montagne pays close attention to this type of development project that could jeopardize the public areas and green spaces of the territory.

Mount Royal is one of the city’s greatest legacies for Montrealers in search of green space to unwind, get together or practice outdoor activities. In 2005, its territory was declared a heritage site by the Ministry of Culture and Communications. Consequently, any proposed project for this emblematic site requires a detailed analysis and meet the guidelines specified in the Mount Royal Protection and Enhancement Plan of the City of Montréal and the Mount Royal Heritage Site Conservation Plan.

Downhill Skiing and Mountain Biking on Mount Royal: For the Common Good?

Every season sees its share of new project proposals for Mount Royal. The mountain’s outreach, not to mention its geomorphology and strategic location within the city, are unparalleled. Not all projects, however, can be greenlighted on Mount Royal and its parks, which collectively measure little more than 2 km2. Les amis de la montagne strives to make sure Mount Royal stays just as beautiful, just as green and just as accessible for future generations. This is why its public vocation must take precedence over individual needs.

The proposal to hold a ski world cup with the intention of bequeathing a downhill ski centre to Montrealers is not compatible with the conservation objectives targeted for Outremont Summit, which is a designated public park. In fact, Tiohtià:ke Otsira'kéhne Park was created in 2009 in an effort to protect all three summits of the mountain by lending them a public character.

Another controversial project, the development of mountain biking paths in Mount Royal parks could also mortgage the mountain’s territory to meet the needs of a small clientele, without providing an interesting and diversified offer to all outdoor enthusiasts.

Les amis Approves the City’s Decision

In mid-October, the City of Montréal ruled that Mount Royal is not a suitable venue for a world cup event, which put an end to discussions on the downhill ski project on the mountain’s northern slope. This news was greeted with joy by Les amis, who has voiced concern about the project in the media. This is certainly a good move for the protection of the mountain and the benefit of all citizens and visitors wanting to enjoy this great public space. Let’s hope that this decision for the good of the mountain will sow the seed for others in the future!
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