Friday, March 2, 2012

Winter Blues Head for the Beach

Circle mid-June on your calendar.

That’s when Montreal gets its “urban beach” at the Old Port, Metropolitan News has learned.

I braved the snow and the cold and checked out the beach-to-be on Thursday.

My mission was to explore the Old Port’s Clock Tower Pier, where, as of this summer, Montrealers will be able to forget about winter.

When it was announced last year, the beach was panned by some because no swimming will be allowed.

There’ll be sand, Adirondack chairs, a boardwalk, a bar and showers and mist stations to cool off. Work on it started in the fall, including the installation of large blue parasols now covered in snow in ice.

The Plage urbaine au Vieux-Port will open in mid-June and run until Labour Day, Julie Mailhot, a spokesperson for the Quais du Vieux-Port, told me.

It will not be free but the entry fee has not been set yet, Mailhot said..

I poked around the Quais du Vieux-Port website and found a document (PDF)suggesting a season pass for a family will cost $58 plus taxes.

Claude Benoît, president of the Old Port of Montreal Corp., said in a speech last Maythat the federal agency wants to spend $180 million revamping the Old Port by 2017, the year Canada celebrates its 150th birthday and Montreal turns 375. The agency is spending $3 million on the beach and another $400,000 for “reception and service pavilions” for the beach.

Below are some photos from Claude Cormier + Associés Inc., the urban design company that developed the beach project. (More on the project, including more photos, on this page of Claude Cormier’s site).

636 47 vp horloge 22 e1330630361169 Montreals Old Port beach: sand, boardwalk, umbrellas   but no swimming and it wont be free

635 47 vp horloge 211 e1330630416442 Montreals Old Port beach: sand, boardwalk, umbrellas   but no swimming and it wont be free

637 47 vp horloge 23 e1330630393904 Montreals Old Port beach: sand, boardwalk, umbrellas   but no swimming and it wont be free

In winter, the Quai de l’horloge is a nice (though desolate) place for a walk on a cold, snowy day, with views of the icy St. Lawrence River, the Jacques Cartier Bridge, Old Montreal and the 1920s cold- storage facility turned luxury condo complex at 1000 de la Commune St.

I took a few panorama photos on Thursday (here and here and here).

:Below is a photo, by The Gazette’s Pierre Obendrauf, of the Clock Tower showing off the new lighting unveiled in December. Completed in 1922, the clock tower is a memorial to merchant seamen who died during World War I.

clock tower pierre obendrauf e1330623979860 Montreals Old Port beach: sand, boardwalk, umbrellas   but no swimming and it wont be free

Andy Riga


Les F said...

$58 dollars for a season pass to sit on the old Victoria Pier seems silly in a way.Montreal has so many great spots to go to ,even up on the mountain is great on a summer's day (or any day) but it's cool in summer & green.St Helens Island is a great spot too. or anywhere along the river ,especially in Verdun,where the green space along the river is fantastic,you could sit on the grass,watch the river,relax in the sun,.all for Free. I would suggest they offer this Victoria pier 'beach' for free,so people who live withing walking distance from downtown ,could kick back & relax. I doubt tourist's visiting Montreal would want to sit in the I would think if they came to Montreal ,they will have plenty to see & do,other than this. Oh Well time will tell I guess.
Cheers ! HF&RV - Les

Les F said...

Now this old idea ,may make a lot more sense. Make Verdun a 'destination' escape for all Montrealer's it would benefit Verdun in general,I think:

.at the very least it's a great idea & the photo looks good..make it a reality. Cheers ! HF&RV - Les

robert jomphe said...

Talking of places to relax I still can't find the name of the little restaurant that was on Lasalle on the side of the river it was between Crawford park and Adams' smoked meat. You had to drive onto the grass dirt by then and it was only opened in spring to fall. It wa located at the end of the rapids. Anybody can help?

Les F said...

I know exactly the shack your talking about,I can picture it.However I'd be guessing at the name,but a friend of mine lived right on Alepin & we've spoken about that spot many times,that & Adams (which had great smoked meat btw:) & they would let us sit in there all night with a plate of fries etc etc..... My buddy may have left for the Halibut season already,but if he's around I will see if he remembers the name .I'll get back to you on that too...
Cheers ! HF&RV - Les

robert jomphe said...

thank you for both info

Les F said...

Robert here is your answer "Miss Lasalle" unquestionably "Miss Lasalle"
as it turns out ,my friends grandmother was offered this place (to buy it way back when) they lived on Alepin & I just got off the phone with my friend who was sent there plenty of times to get fries , or hotdogs , but in the hot summer months he also was dispatched there to pick up Ice Cream for the family.
His name is Tom Nimbley & he still has family in the area,
Miss Lasalle is not to be confused with "Lasalle Drive-In' out near 63rd.-ish & Lasalle Blvd (the police station area) or the 'Mr Hot Dog ' which was at Edward (Edouard) & Lasalle Blvd, ........So there you go sir,.......
" Miss Lasalle" Cheers ! HF&RV - Les

ps: I lived both on 9th av btwn: Centrale & Edward/Lasalle (as they meet right there,.....also I lived at 7691B Lasalle Blvd in the early 70's before heading west....... that's my story & I'm sticking to it..... lol

robert jomphe said...

Thank you very much stopped there many times. Lasalle drive-in used to belong to my fathers' cousin. It used to have a deck over the water and a grocery store at the house. His two sons drowned in the rapids in 1951 after driving the younger son to Nun's island to work. Is name was Lapierre of the street of the same name.

Les F said...

I remember a terrible accident ,at Lasalle Drive In, where a father tried desperatley to hold on to the bumper of his car as it rolled away & over the bank (which was quite high from the river at that point) sadly his 2 children slipped into the river & were killed. Divers later found the wreckage,also found an oil truck or a bus (maybe both).After that I believe they placed some sort of barricades to prevent going over the bank. I can't imagine what this father must have gone through (or probably still goes through)
On the better side of this story, Lasalle was & still is a very popular place,and I remember it having pretty good food....Pizza, Hotdogs,Fries etc etc , is quite big nowadays from the old little place it used to be.

robert jomphe said...

I don't remember anything about a bus being found but knowing Verdun Point and Lasalle it would not be a surpise. At the time of that accident it was another owner. One night I was there the Great Antonio came in sideways of course he had the a bear in a cage on his trailer and is wife in the car.. It was hard to know which was which. He picked a dozen hamburgers and fries. If you go a little further along Lasalle where the power lines are that was a little creek that they covered up. I quess they made sure nobody would live there. I wonder how many creeks where covered up on the Island?