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Investments of nearly 100 million for Jean-Drapeau Park

Photo: Marc Bruxelle Getty Images Part of the envelope will be devoted to repairing the exterior envelope of the Biosphere.

Jeanne Corriveau

7:40 p.m.

  • Montreal

Parc Jean-Drapeau continues its metamorphosis. The executive committee authorized, Wednesday morning, loan regulations totaling more than 96 million to finance work on various park infrastructures. A portion of this sum, i.e. 7.2 million, will allow the renovation of the Hélène-de-Champlain pavilion which should, ultimately, accommodate restaurants.

An amount of 16 million has already been spent by the City of Montreal for certain interior work on the Hélène-de-Champlain pavilion closed in 2010 and its decontamination. However, work remains to be carried out to restore the exterior envelope of the building, including its balconies. The Société du parc Jean-Drapeau (SDPJ) plans to complete the plans and specifications stage this year to be able to launch work in 2025.

At the same time, the organization undertook to develop a strategy relating to the use of premises for private events, small and large, but also for public activities, such as consultation sessions for example . The location is also expected to host a “signature” restaurant and snack bar. In an interview, the general director of the SDPJ, Véronique Doucet, raises the possibility of inaugurating the revamped building at the end of 2026 or the beginning of 2027.

Private partnership

Until then, however, the SDPJ will have to develop a financial package for its projects. Remember that in 2021, Valérie Plante's administration unveiled a $970 million plan over 10 years to highlight the natural heritage of Jean-Drapeau Park and reduce the space given to automobile traffic. Except that the financing of a significant part of the investments, i.e. 500 million, is still not confirmed and will require participation from other levels of government as well as a contribution from the private sector.

This is particularly the case for the Hélène-de-Champlain pavilion project, the total cost of which is estimated at $25 million. The difference will therefore have to be made up by the contribution of a private partner, indicates Véronique Doucet. “We are a public park and we will remain a public park and all these buildings will remain public. But you have to develop a business model, she explains. We are not commenting on how far we could go, but we are in the process of doing this analysis to determine possible benchmarks. »

The Mont Boullé sector transformed

In addition to the work at the Hélène-de-Champlain pavilion, the loans approved on Wednesday will finance the repair and maintenance of park assets, whether buildings such as the Aquatic Complex, but also the mechanical equipment, for a total cost of 32.4 million. “We have to repair buildings that are more than 60 years old for the most part, and 200 years old when we think of the fort [on Île Sainte-Hélène],” points out Ms. Doucet.

Work estimated at 46.2 million is also planned in the Mont Boullé sector, which includes the repair of the Lévis tower, the protection of the wooded area as well as the restoration of the ponds, the vespasiennes and the Grande Poudrière. This is the third of four phases of a project whose total cost is estimated at 82 million. The fourth phase will consist of redeveloping the Plaine des jeux. Véronique Doucet indicates that the SDPJ intends to launch an international design competition for equipment intended for events and to find a floor surface that would facilitate the maintenance of this very busy place.

Finally, an amount of 10.5 million will be devoted to repairing the exterior envelope of the Biosphere. Remember that in 2021, after years of uncertainty about the future of this museum, the Biosphere was integrated into the Space for Life museum complex which already included the Biodôme, the Insectarium, the Botanical Garden and the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium.

Over the coming months, work will also be carried out at Place des Nations as well as around the metro station. In the master plan unveiled in 2021, the SDPJ announced its intention to reduce parking spaces in Jean-Drapeau Park by 80% and to reduce automobile traffic on the two islands.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116