Montreal proposes to turn NDG's Falaise Saint-Jacques into 60-hectare park

An escarpment in the city’s Notre-Dame-de-Grace borough may be on its way to becoming a 60-hectare park.

The Falaise Saint-Jacques is a green space off a bowling alley parking lot that NDG residents turn to as an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. 

“It's the birds, the trees... it's like being in nature without being in the city,” said Tim Blundell, an NDG resident. 

The city recently announced a proposal to turn the space into a park that would stretch nearly two kilometres. 

“I am so happy, when I was told yesterday, I was the happiest person in the world,” said Lisa Mintz, who started an initiative called “Sauvons la Falaise” years ago. “This is great, this is amazing.”

Mintz has been fighting to make the space into a park for five years. She uses it to get her fill of nature. 

“It usually takes a really long time to become a park, and this is amazing,” Mintz said. 

The area actually used to be a park, Mintz explained. Former Montreal Mayor Jean-Drapeau had put in a paved walkway. 

But eventually, it became neglected, and even turned into a convenient dumping site. 

The asphalt that still stretches along the path has been repurposed by skateboarders. 

Residents are hopeful the green space, which is adjacent to the highway, will allow for a way to cross Highway 20. 

“We live around here and we were hoping to have a trail to the Lachine Canal,” Blundell said. “So, this is great for us.” 

Residents are calling this a victory for those who’ve been pushing for the park for years, but the city still needs to take the step from proposal to reality. 

No timeline has been laid out just yet. 

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