WATCH: City working on another answer to Rockefeller Center

First it was a sad Christmas tree which drew comparisons to Charlie Brown, now it's going to be a skating rink.

"Montreal is a Nordic city and we need to… make sure we have the ice rink but at the same time have you noticed from Place des Festivals, Quartiers des Spectacles, we are creating a milieu de vie," said Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, as he helped break ground on a new $67.1 million project.

The Esplanade Clark will be upgraded to 5,000 square-metre public space featuring a large skating rink, which Coderre said will put the one at New York City's Rockefeller Center to shame.

"I have that competition with (New York City Mayor) Bill de Blasio but it's going to be wider, bigger and it will probably be part of the solution to beat the Rangers at the next series. I'm on it big time" he said. "Sport is also culture, right?"

The rink will be open from November to April, with the space being used as an urban terrace during the warmer months.

"This place will be different than Place des Festivals for example, which is a place for huge demonstrations and big shows. This place here will be more intimate. The skating rink will be more family oriented. Festivals will be able to use the space as they do throughout Quartier des Spectacles but the climate and feeling will be different," Coderre said.

The site, situated between Rue Sainte-Catherine, Rue Clark and Rue De Montigny, currently sits vacant and will need to be decontaminated before construction can begin.

If all goes to plan, Montrealers should be able to enjoy the skating rink by the end of 2019, about seven years behind schedule.