On July 8, the City of Montreal announced that the Lachine Marina would become the site of a massive waterfront park, turning the area into a massive greenspace that would give Montrealers direct access to the water for activities like sailing, kayaking, canoeing, rowing, and fishing. Swimming may also be a possible activity as well, depending on water quality tests that the city plans to carry out over time.
Notre administration saisit toutes les occasions de rendre notre métropole plus verte et résiliente. C'est pourquoi le Port de plaisance de Lachine sera transformé en un vaste parc riverain accessible à toutes et à tous! 🌿🌊 @Lachine_MTL @RobertBeaudry (1/3) #cemtl #polmtl pic.twitter.com/qQJIipDKfx— Valérie Plante (@Val_Plante) July 8, 2020
Located near the National Historic Site of the Lachine Canal and attached to the René-Lévesque park, the space is part of the city's gradual push towards environmental restoration projects and a wider strategy of adapting to climate change. The $25 to $30 million redevelopment project is expected to be finished over the course of five year, beginning with public consultations throughout 2021 with a completion date of 2025.
“Following the spring floods of 2017 and 2019, the marina's facilities—which date back several decades—were badly damaged," said Robert Beaudry in the City of Montreal's announcement. "Considering the obsolescence of the infrastructure and the importance of the investments required to maintain current activities, the choice was made to restore ecological value to the site by favoring sustainable bank stabilization, while providing exceptional access to water."
As it stands, there's opposition to the project when it comes to people who use the marina as a spot for summer housing aboard their boats—other marinas that could provide an alternative space to dock are full, and that will leave Lachine Marina users with nowhere else to go.
Currently, the Lachine Marina is run by a private club, but the project is expected to be carried out because of its location on city land. According to Lachine borough Mayor Maja Vodanovic, membership fees barely cover operational costs, and that maintaining the current aged infrastructure as well as the eroding waterfront would have cost $17 million. Meanwhile, the shoreline construction is expected to begin over the next few months.