NEWS

Planning Mount Royal's future

06/07/2013 06:51 EDT | Updated 08/07/2013 05:12 EDT
There are concerns about the future of some heritage buildings on Mount Royal.

Today, experts, advocates and politicians discussed how to preserve the mountain, at the first meeting of its kind in more than a decade.

Several large hospital buildings on Mount Royal will soon be empty when two super-hospitals are completed elsewhere in the city.

Groups such as the Friends of the Mountain, who helped organize the meeting, say they are concerned about the preservation of these historical sites.

“What we want to look at is what is going to be the best possible project for the site that will respect the heritage values of these sites as well as responding to community needs,” said Gabrielle Korn, communications director for Friends of the Mountain.

Dinu Bumbaru, policy director at Heritage Montreal, says he is concerned about the future of the large, old, historical hospital buildings.

He says he has not been told of any plans for the future of these heritage sites.

“This was expected to happen ten years ago. Nobody in Quebec City in the ministries or in the city of Montreal really planned this, and it's time to change that kind of negligent attitude,” said Bumbaru.

Other advocates worry those buildings will be sold to private developers -- limiting public access to the mountain.

However, the city’s executive committee member for environmental issues, Josée Duplessis, says she will try to prevent that.

“We are responsible for zoning so we are really in a prime spot to accept or not different projects,” she said.

Duplessis is not ruling out authorizing more condo projects as long as they are in existing buildings and don't restrict access to the mountain.

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