City of Montreal inaugurates new $49M river-to-mountain urban walkway

The city of Montreal has inaugurated its $49.7-million urban walkway connecting the St. Lawrence River in the Old Port to the base of Mount Royal, a 375th anniversary project coming in two months late and  $7-million over the original price tag.

The 3.8 km Promenade Fleuve-Montagne cuts through the McGill University campus on McTavish Street which is now car-free.

The project cost $7-million more than the original $42-million price tag because of unforeseen watermain work.

Réal Ménard, executive committee member in charge of environment and major parks, said he believes the new promenade will benefit both Montrealers and tourists.

"We will have pedestrian spaces and art of Montreal (...). We will have a very strong animation, it's a new link, it's a new rapport, it's a new philosophy in Montreal to give more space to pedestrians," Ménard told reporters.

"Do you think it was possible two decades ago? I'm not sure it was possible."

Official opposition party Projet Montreal says the project was ill-conceived and a lot of the money that was ill-spent.

Plateau borough mayor Luc Ferrandez said it would have been better to link the Old Port to the mountain through McGill College Avenue one block over.  Ferrandez added it should not have cost so much just to fix up McTavish, estimating it could have been done for five to seven million dollars and not 25 or 27 million.

"It's beautiful and it's cute but not at this cost," said Ferrandez.

The walkway will also feature works of art, public markets and musicians along the way.