November 07 2011

Repurposing Meadowbrook Golf Course as a Regional Park: Greenspace in West End Montreal

According to a study, Montreal has one of the lowest percentages of greenspace of any major North American city.  Meadowbrook Golf Course, MontrealOne of the largest pieces of undeveloped greenspace is Montreal’s West End is Meadowbrook Golf Course.  Meadowbrook has been repeatedly threatened with residential development by Groupe Pacific, for over 20 years.  A local environmental non-profit group, Les Amis de Meadowbrook, has led efforts to prevent development.

One of the complications of the Meadowbrook issue is conflicting political jurisdictions.  With an area of 57 hectares (141 acres) and partly bordered by rail yards of the Canadian Pacific Railroad, half of the golf course lies in the suburban municipality of Cote Saint-Luc and the other half in the Saint-Pierre section of Lachine (a borough of the City of Montreal); these halves are separated by another railway track.  The Cote Saint-Luc half is zoned as recreational, whereas the Lachine half is zoned residential.

There are several reasons why I believe it is far more suitable to turn Meadowbrook into a regional park than into a sustainable residential area:

  • It serves as a buffer between Lachine industrial parks to the west and West End residential areas to the east;
  • With more natural areas than many other golf courses, it harbors a variety of plant and animal species, and has one of the last remaining streams on Montreal Island;
  • Residential development would be constrained by the location of the rail lines and by railway noise;
  • From an urban design perspective, traffic congestion would be chronic because there would be only one access point to the outside world for any residential development;
  • It could economically benefit the area by fostering recreational and nature tourism;

As a regional park, Meadowbrook would enjoy public accessibility which it currently lacks as a golf course. What challenges do you forsee the several political groups having in order to creatively repurpose Meadowbrook as greenspace?

Credits: Image and documents linked to source.

Yosef Robinson

Yosef Robinson, born and raised in Montreal, holds a B.A. in Geography with a Minor in Urban Studies from Rutgers University, as well as a Master’s in City and Regional Planning from the Ohio State University. At present, he has finished studying for a Master’s in Environment at Concordia University in Montreal, graduating in June 2012. In that program, he specialized in Environmental Impact Assessments. He is very interested in urban planning and environmental issues, such as transportation, greenspaces, and urban sprawl. As well, he is the co-author of a published article on the growth of Jewish environmental activism in Canada. He is interested in alternate history as an avocation. Yosef Robinson blogged for the GRID until April 2012.

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This entry was posted on Monday, November 7th, 2011 at 11:28 pm and is filed under Community/Economic Development, Environment, Environmental Design, Environmental Non-Profit, History/Preservation, Land Use, Landscape Architecture, Urban Development/Real Estate, Urban Planning and Design. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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2 Responses to “Repurposing Meadowbrook Golf Course as a Regional Park: Greenspace in West End Montreal”

  1. Glenn J. Nashen Says:

    I would add that the City of Cote Saint-Luc and the Town of Montreal West have led efforts to preserve Meadowbrook as green space. Had CSL acquiesced to the wishes of the developers back in the 90s you’d see a huge development on that sight today.

    Councillor Dida Berku is a champion of preserving Meadowbrook and you can visit my site at http://www.GlennJ.Nashen.com to learn all about the continuing efforts to save this space for recreation for generations to come.

  2. Yosef Robinson Says:

    Thank you for the additional comment regarding Meadowbrook!

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