Toronto wants to fix a flooding neighbourhood. The solution: pave a ‘beautiful’ creek.
On the shore of the Seine river, Montreal’s Bellechasse neighbourhood was once an ideal place to take a stroll. It was a pleasant place, with a nice park in the heart of the bustling neighbourhood, and a beautiful stream that separated the neighbourhood and St. Catherine street to the west from the St. Laurent Boulevard to the east. To the south were the boulevards of St. Catherine and Saint-Denis. And to the north, the boulevard of Hôpital-inférieur to the west and the boulevard St-Laurent to the east. And, of course, the Seine River to the north.
The Seine and the Bellechasse park had long been home to the city’s elite. These days, however, the Seine is a major source of water for the city, and the city is trying to find a permanent fix for the problem. And so, in April 2017, a new boulevard to be called St-Jean-Baptiste was planned to run the length of the Bellechasse neighbourhood. The boulevard would cross the Seine, linking the Hôpital-inférieur hospital, where city leaders are debating a major expansion plan for Montreal’s largest hospital, and Hôpital-de-Montréal, the city’s biggest hospital, as well as the Olympic Stadium.
The plan for the boulevard has generated controversy since it was announced last September, when the city council approved the project at a special council meeting. Critics said the city is building a road that will serve the needs of middle class Montreal. While the project has been controversial with some public-relations firms, it has also attracted plenty of interest from those in the community looking for a place to live. And the project has won the support of some of the city’s most prominent residents, including the mayor, the mayor-elect of Montreal, and the mayor of the city of Montréal, as well as the mayor-elect of Montréal.
The final boulevard link would have a green