08/03/2015 08:42 EDT | Updated 08/03/2016 05:59 EDT

Verdun to get new skatepark by the fall

Borough officials in Verdun say the new skatepark they are building for $700,000 will be safer and more fun for skateboarders and BMX riders than the current Arthur-Therrien Park.

The borough noticed the park was often empty, so it decided to replace it.

"You can't skate in here," said city councillor and skateboarder Sterling Downey.

Downey told CBC that the park, which has broken ramps, has become dangerous and it wasn't well-designed. He convinced the city to come up with a bigger budget for a new skatepark.

"Clearly, municipalities have seen the importance because they've attempted to construct modular skateparks, using ramps...But the investments are always minor," Downey said.

The borough brought in skatepark designer and owner Dan Vézina.

"We had an epidemic of pre-fabricated skateparks that are of zero creativity. It's just a bunch of ramps kind of thrown into an asphalt lot," Vézina said.

For this project, Vézina said he drew inspiration from an old skateboarding video game called 720 Degrees, created in 1986 by Atari.

"I played the game and just thought about how much of a crazy concept that was, that the whole city was skateable — and the Verdun concept kind of took off from there."

The park will feature sidewalks and sewer ditches, the kind of obstacles that Vezina says many want to skate.

Construction work begins later this month and is expected to be completed in the fall.