Residents ask for less parking and more vegetation at the park
Approximately one year after the City of Montreal presented its Jarry Park Development Plan, the city released the results of a public consultation that asked residents what they wanted to see in the parks’ refurbishment on Apr. 5.
Key recommendations included the reduction of parking spaces, more trees and greenery, better security in the park, better cohabitation of different activities and improved mobility options for park users.
The park will see a major overhaul in the coming years, with the addition of many new trees, the moving of several key installations and the addition of a small stream through the central field.
In May 2021, the City unveiled its preliminary plan to refurbish one of Montreal’s biggest parks, attracting more than 1.3 million people every year.
Between Jun. 4 and Jun. 27, roughly 2780 people responded to a survey on the city’s Réalisons Montréal website to voice their suggestions and concerns about the new development plan. These responses were integrated into the city’s planning phase.
Most respondents were between the ages of 20 and 49 and generally French-speaking residents of Villeray. According to Survey data, a smaller portion of respondents were English-speaking Park Extension residents.
Nonetheless, the majority of respondents were located within a 1 km radius around Jarry Park, in the Parc-Extension, Villeray and Petite-Italie districts.
A large majority of respondents, approximately 87 per cent, were in favour of a decrease in parking in the park so that the space can be put to other use. The parking lot is currently located on Jarry in front of Lucien-Pagé High School.
The original plan featured a new vision for the parking lot which will included curb flower beds and more trees to make it more environmentally friendly.
Among those who responded that they didn’t mind a reduction in parking, 38% wrote this was conditional as long as it included a drop-off zone and was designed in an environmentally-friendly manner.
More green space
“We want to multiply vegetation and trees,” said Sylvia-Anne Duplantie of the Service de la mise en valeur du territoire at last year’s presentation, adding that the city also aimed to modulate space by landscaping small hills and creating varied terrain.
Half of the respondents, roughly 50 per cent, said they would like to see more plantations of trees and shrubs to significantly increase the biodiversity in the densely populated areas along Saint-Laurent boulevard.
A majority of respondents, 68 per cent, also said they wouldn’t mind shortening the skating season at the park’s pond in favour of maximizing its natural look over an artificial one.
The city said it would remove invasive phragmites reeds which have proliferated around the pond, blocking the view and restricting access to the water’s edge. These initiatives would help attract pollinating insects, cut down the effects of wind and ensure healthy biodiversity in the park.
The initial plan also included the resurrection of a naturally occurring stream that had long been buried. It would flow out from the pond on the south side and follow the contours of the central field, so as to not obstruct its use.
This was overwhelmingly supported by respondents. “More than three-quarters of responses are favourable to the fact that the central plain is equipped to be able to receive a surplus of water when it is necessary (77%),” read the report.
Over half the participants in the survey, 54 per cent, said they wanted transition areas between sports zones and rest and relaxation areas, ensuring the inclusion of spaces favouring diversity of group activities.
51 per cent of respondents also added they would like to see more vegetation and relaxation areas inside the Jarry Park aquatic centre and pool. The pool will be rebuilt when the park is refurbished
Other recommendations mentioned in the report include a majority in favour of placing a children’s water park close to existing jungle gyms and children’s play areas.
A majority also voted to refurbish the park Jean-Paul II chalet to house a reception pavilion with sanitary services or other services for the activities of the park. This will be possible once the SPVM moves their poste de quartier 31 from the chalet to a new building on de l’Esplanade.
The report nonetheless outlined that the findings may not be sufficiently representative of all viewpoints in the area and also highlighted several divergences in opinion on key issues. These would be subject to elaboration and reflection by the cities team.
The City will now begin to develop its final development plan in the coming weeks and will present it to the public later this spring and summer. More information is available at https://www.realisonsmtl.ca/parcjarry.