Design tourism / Published on May 25, 2021
INT.CITY: Verdun’s Urban Beach
Temperatures are rising, summer is coming! And to top it all of, small outdoor gatherings are now permitted all over the province!
Pack up the gear, sunscreen the kids and roll down those windows for a sunny day trip. Discover the Verdun Urban Beach, a project designed by landscape architecture firm WAA Montréal.
Text: Juli Pisano. Photos: Ziad Haddad, Yangzhi Sun, Jean Beaudin.
Stretching out behind the Verdun Auditorium, the new urban beach, provides Montrealer’s a rare and long-awaited access to their river since its opening in 2019.
Modern in style, the large-scale project includes a beach, a park, wooded areas, recreational facilities, a bicycle path and a library.
Spanning hundreds of metres, the landscaping project pursued numerous goals of nature revitalization and river reappropriation.
“In the 1940s, we had a beach in Verdun, which has been lost over time by the various embankments that were made during the work of the metro,” said Mayor Parenteau in 2016. “This beach will give back to citizens a part of their history, he continued. By giving a beach back to the citizens, they will be able to reclaim the bank.”
Waterfront naturalization, the creation of spawning grounds, site decontamination, reforestation: the landscape architects worked on many fronts to make this reinvented place a true living environment. WAA used naturally occurring breaches in the land to create zones that soften the changes in elevation.
© Photo Jean Beaudin
As a result of the intervention, the site is now user friendly, providing physical and visual access to the river and its banks. The project quickly became popular with the public, and people visit to relax, swim or engage in other activities.
Adapted to all age groups, the site seduces beachgoers with its accessibility and respect for the environment. A success on many levels for all citizens to enjoy.
Design: WAA Montréal, waa-ap.com
Grand Award- Environmentally-Conscious Landscape Architecture Project
2020 GRANDS PRIX DU DESIGN Awards