It was announced last week that the city would not approve plans for a massive condo development on the land that is currently the Meadowbrook Golf Course. This is great news, especially for those that have been engaged in the battle to preserve Meadowbrook over the last few decades. Perhaps the huge crowd that showed up at City Hall last spring filling the main room and asking some tough questions influenced this decision? No doubt it was a climax of years of work and now they can feel that there has been some kind of a pay off and I give heartfelt congratulations to all who were involved over the years!. And it certainly is interesting how the Meadowbrook campaign to preserve the land as a green space has grown over time from a handful of local residents to include some of the top environmental activists in the city, cyclists that can see the potential of Meadowbrook as part of a critical bicycle path network for the West End and Greater SouthWest areas of the city, and the support of ordinary citizens all over the Island who can see the obvious value of preserving a much needed green space such as Meadowbook.
Perhaps the most significant thing about this whole journey has been the growth of communities understanding the interconnectedness of the urban issues on the Island. Like Turcot, Meadowbrook has become relevant far beyond it’s immediate geographic location, with people in Lachine, Cote Saint Luc, NDG, Lasalle, Verdun, and the South West coming together to share ideas about how these places/projects can and will affect their communities. We have begun to think globally, act locally, and share our ideas across a social and physical spectrum that defies traditional notions of class, demography, and political loyalty. Victory at Meadowbrook is a victory for everyone on the Island of Montreal!
The situation, however, is only a temporary solution. The City Of Montreal continues to refuse to grant Meadowbrook green space status, and it is not on the list of lands the City says it wants to acquire and preserve – despite a budget of 36 million to do exactly that!. My good friend, Avrom Shtern, of The Green Coalition and Les Amis de Meadowbrook, two groups that have fought a long and tough battle, says that while this is great victory, there is still some work to do.
“It is a fortuitous victory but until Montreal rezones it back to green or golf course on the VSP side and guarantees that some way the game is not over. But nevertheless it is a momentous occasion that we should not downplay. It is great news and shows that in the end of the day people power does work. Many people of past and present had a hand in this. Also many on the Montreal Executive voted for this outcome. So congratulations and thank you to the City of Montreal for a logical outcome at least for the short to medium term.
The City of Montreal and Island of Montreal, (Agglo), will shortly go through the process
of revising the Urban Plan. This may be a chance to convince Montreal to change the designation of the Ville Saint Pierre sector of Meadowbrook to commercial recreational. This would merely define Meadowbrook as it is now a golf course. But it certainly would be better than the current situation which classifies the VSP/Lachine sector as residential.
If that is successful Lachine Borough would have several years to conform to the Urban Plan and rezone.
It is imperative that Lachine residents in particular recognize the intrinsic value of Meadowbrook as a renaturalized open space where they can breath and live.”
And so it goes, still plenty of work to do, but this is a very positive event that moves things forward.
In the meantime developers are at work in Griffintown.