Downtown Montreal borough opens up 'Piscinette' to offset heat islands

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Justine Westelynck lives close by and visited the pool with her partner and toddler.   (Rowan Kennedy/CBC - image credit)
Justine Westelynck lives close by and visited the pool with her partner and toddler. (Rowan Kennedy/CBC - image credit)

Heat islands are a problem in any big city and Montreal is no exception, which is why the Sainte-Marie borough is running a pilot-project opening up a new "piscinette" downtown.

The salt water pool was inaugurated at Jos-Montferrand Park on Saturday, and was made using a recycled shipping container.

Sophie Mauzerolle, the city councillor for the borough, said officials wanted to think outside the box to combat heat islands as the city grapples with worsening heat waves.

"It's a project we've been working on for a while now. It's a dream come true," she said at the park, close to Saint Catherine Street East and Havre Street.

Rowan Kennedy/CBC
Rowan Kennedy/CBC

The pool will be in place until at least the end of the summer. The hope is to expand the pilot  project if things go well, Mauzerolle said.

There will be kid-friendly programming, with the help of the Fine Arts Museum and other partners, food trucks, and somewhere to play volleyball, she said.

"You can really pass the afternoon here," Mauzerolle said.

Rowan Kennedy/CBC
Rowan Kennedy/CBC

Paul Paskaryk is a long-time resident in the area, and says he hopes this will bring life back to the park.

"It's been empty for the last 20 years, so I hope this will revitalize the park a bit," he said, adding it was once a bustling gathering spot for families.

Justine Westelynck lives close by and visited the pool with her partner and toddler.

"I'm surprised to see [it]," she said. "It's really impressive."

The pool will be open every day from noon to 7 p.m.

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