“Our administration is seizing every opportunity to make our metropolis greener and resilient,” said Valerie Plante in a recent social media post. That is how the mayor of Montreal explained the city’s decision to make the current Lachine Marina a waterfront park for users on Lac. St. Louis.
The current marina will remain in operation until the fall. Renovations were expected to be done on the marina at a cost of $ 17 million dollars. The park project, slated to be open for 2025, has a projected cost of $ 25 million.
However the project has the some 300 users of the Marina — many of whom have paid fees to the City of Montreal for 30 years — in an uproar. They claim not to have been consulted nor to have received any prior notice. One boat owner spoke of “acquired rights” and possible consultation with lawyers. There is also talk of a petition being circulated against the Marina’s closure. Some larger boat owners live on their boats through the summer as a stay at home chalet. What made the decision so incomprehensible to others was that the SPVM’s Nautical Service that rescues people from water incidents is headquartered at the Marina and will have to move.
But the mayor spoke again that the, “ transformation of the Lachine Marina represents a concrete gesture in terms of ecological transition and the fight against climate change, for the pleasure and well-being of the population and future generations.” That statement caused another boat owner to exclaim, “With this Mayor it’s nothing but green! Not the people she’s hurting.”
In the coming year, the design for the new waterfront park will be subject to a public consultation.