By Kevin Woodhouse
With more than 150 paddlers taking part in last year’s inaugural event known as Route Bleue where the boroughs of Pierrefonds-Roxboro and Ahuntsic-Cartierville joined together to give Montrealers a chance to see their boroughs and cities from another perspective, on the water, both boroughs announced at a press conference held at Bois de Liesse Nature Park.
The event will take place this coming Saturday, May 31 starting at Cap St. Jacques nature park in Pierrefonds-Roxboro at 1 p.m. Kayakers and canoers of all skill ranges are invited to take part in a four hour loop that will finish in Ahuntsic-Cartierville at the Sophie-Barat Nautical Site.
The event will culminate in a family BBQ for all participants.
Pierrefonds-Roxboro Mayor Dimitros Jim Beis, who is an avid cyclist, playfully joked with Mayor Pierre Gagnier of Ahuntsic-Cartierville that “I’m very competitive and this year you will only see my back on the water!”
Gagnier later jokingly retorted that “we will see who comes first.” But all kidding aside, Beis asked The Suburban during Question Period, the only local news agency in attendance, to encourage fellow media agents as well as other borough and city mayors and councillors to also take part in the family themed event as a way to highlight Montreal’s diverse water ways.
“The Route Bleue offers us a chance to discover panoramic views of the island from a different perspective,” said Beis. “This is also part of our Strategic Development Plan in making our waterways more accessible for all Montrealers and West Island residents.”
Alexandre Joly, who is the deputy general manager of Access Fleuve and one of the sponsors of the event, told the assembled that another local event on Lac St. Louis will be taking place this summer with more details to be released shortly.
There is also plans for the 2017 edition of Route Bleue, which will coincide with the city of Montreal’s 375th birthday, to offer activities for all boroughs and municipalities adjacent to waterways.
For the borough of Lachine and the city of Pointe Claire, this will be their first foray into Route Bleue which will be taking place on the same day but along Lac St. Louis.
The route will take roughly two hours to complete and begin at the Pointe Claire Canoe Club at Venture Park at 1 p.m. Taking part to ensure the ride goes safely, representatives from the Lachine Rowing Club, the Pointe Claire Canoe Club and the Lachine Sailing School will be offering free rides for any interested in learning more about boating, canoeing and kayaking safety.
The Lac St. Louis Route Bleue can accommodate up to 50 paddlers who wish to take part.
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