July 6, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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Before Montreal will be Quebec Port Bath

Before Montreal will be Quebec Port Bath

(Quebec) Montreal dreams of “Port Bath” to celebrate its 375th anniversary. The project remains a dead letter and finally Quebec will open a bathing area in its harbor this summer in the shadow of its old town.

Posted at 1:37 p.m.

Gabriel Beland

Gabriel Beland
Press

“The idea of ​​swimming in the Louis Basin in Quebec dates back to 1991. Let’s just say this old dream has come true,” said Michel Beaulieu, a spokeswoman for the People’s Bathing Society.

Quebec Port on Tuesday announced the creation of the Oasis Project, which revolves around swimming at the foot of Old Quebec. The space set up in the existing Louis Basin offers several Olympic-length corridors (50 m) and an area for free swimming.

The water is 9 to 14 feet deep, but life jackets are on loan. Access is free and the launch is scheduled for late June or early July.

Port of Quebec Illustration

Port Bath in Quebec has several 50m corridors and a free swimming area.

The opening of this “Port Bath” is the result of decades of activism to restore citizens’ access to the beaches. The opening of the beach in Beaufort Bay, a more remote area, in 2016 was the first success for these aquatic activists.

“Bay of Beaufort was the first. Swimming in the river has been banned since the 1970s. In 2016, it was a big step forward,” recalls Mitchell Beaulieu.

“People keep thinking about the 70s and 80s, everything goes into the river. We have invested billions in Quebec to purify our water and we have seen the results. When people started swimming in the river at Beaufort Bay, they realized it had changed. ⁇

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The man stressed that he had not been informed of any health issues since 2016. Mr Beaulieu said the water quality was also better than the Louis Basin compared to Beaufort Bay.

“I think the main surprise for people who come to swim this summer is the water temperature. They will find that the water is warm,” a People’s Batting Society spokeswoman assured.

“We are not in Tadausak! He adds.

The Quebec Port wants to make this place an attractive destination for tourists and citizens alike. The idea is to build a bar and restaurant. “This idea fits in well with what we want to do and it is possible to improve the summer offer,” said Mario Girard, CEO of Quebec Port.

An example for Montreal?

The concept of harbor baths is not new. Copenhagen opened its own space in 2003. It develops a bathing area in the harbor. Quebec was the first city in North America to adopt this concept.

In Montreal, the administration of Denise Coderre announced in 2015 its intention to develop the harbor bath at Quai de l’Harlose. The idea was taken up by Valerie Plante. But the city abandoned the project in 2020 due to strong currents there and port operations.

“The focus they have on Quebec is fantastic,” said Andre Belanger, general manager of the Rivieres Foundation, among other things, which promotes swimming in the city.

The Rivieres Foundation is campaigning for the establishment of a port bath in the Jacques-Cartier Basin in Old Port. For this the navy would have to move about 150 meters. Water quality is not an issue, Mr. Bélanger emphasized.

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“It simply came to our notice then that we were not in a good mood in Montreal. The water is quality. It should be closed when it overflows after heavy rains. It is estimated that it will be open 90-95% of the time, ”he said.

Old Port is managed by the Canada Lands Company. Andre Belanger lamented the lack of consultation in the metropolis.

“The thing that attracts me is that in Quebec it was developed in collaboration with the Society des Genes de Bain, but we can not even communicate with the people of Old Port,” he said.