Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve is taking steps to get permits to create a swimming area, and to protect and develop the shoreline. These actions will improve Montrealers’ access to the riverbanks.
No permanent installations are permitted on lake shores or riverbanks without the approval of the provincial and federal governments, which are responsible for protecting the natural environment and ensuring that safety standards are met.
Studies are evaluating:
- The direction and speed of currents
- The presence of toxic elements and debris on the shore and the nearby water
- The layout of a potential swimming area
- How to protect the habitat of endangered species, including the copper redhorse
A temporary set-up to let visitors admire the view
Until the studies are completed, Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve has installed a removable ramp and furniture so that people can relax in the park and take in the view of the river.
Swimming is not permitted for now. However, the city has done some preliminary studies since 2019. These studies looked at how long overflows affect water quality after heavy rainfall.
The Ministère de l’Environnement, de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, de la Faune et des Parcs (MELCCFP) called for more detailed water quality analyses in 2022, to ensure that the water is safe for swimming.
The city is waiting for the results of all the analyses to decide whether it can create a swimming site.