NEWS

Lachine Canal skating rink plan revisited by Montreal

12/31/2014 04:01 EST | Updated 03/02/2015 05:59 EST
Talks about opening the Lachine Canal for skating are back on again for the first time in more than a decade.

The mayor of the Southwest borough, Benoit Dorais, revived the idea and drew up a petition to allow skating on the canal.

Last November the borough passed a motion at City Hall to look into the project.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre's administration has said it also wants to open discussions with Parks Canada, as it would manage the project since the Lachine Canal is under federal jurisdiction.

"If we can find a spot where it's technically feasible and we know that we can make secure ice [and] we can get that partnership with Parks Canada, we might be onto something," said City Councillor Craig Sauvé.

Parks Canada officials say they are looking at the idea of opening the canal for skating, but don't have any specific details at the moment.

Skaters also like the idea, such as Jonathan Brun who runs a website called Patiner Montreal that shows people where to find a skating rink in their area.

"Bringing people out of their homes in the winter and into a collective space where there's a park or a skating rink is good for the community," said Brun. 

"You end up meeting your neighbours, you end up getting more exercise and enjoying the city more."

There's no word yet on how much it would cost to build shelters and changing huts along the canal.

"This is infrastructure that we've already paid for — we've already invested in — through our tax dollars," said Brun.

Supporters of the project are hoping it might be finished in time for Montreal's 375th anniversary celebrations in 2017.

MORE:cbcNews