6. Presentation Concept
The concept chosen for presenting the Lachine Canal National Historic Site of Canada is based on the present functional and spatial organization of the site, which constitutes a corridor with heritage areas distributed along its length, between the historic centres of Old Montréal and Lachine. The corridor is used for a variety of recreational activities (walking, cycling, skating, boating, etc.) suited to the linear character of the site. The presentation concept defines the site’s spatial structure as well as the role and hierarchical importance of the main areas of activity, while also specifying the functions, activities and infrastructures planned.
In the proposed concept, the following elements are taken to be fundamental:
- Parks Canada’s mandate and responsibilities;
- The site’s commemorative intent;
- The site’s potential and the constraints observed;
- Parks Canada’s vision for the site in future;
- The directions established for developing and managing the site.
The concept is centred on presenting the site’s heritage character and developing links with the surrounding areas, and it thus seeks to:
- Ensure the commemorative integrity of the Lachine Canal and its industrial corridor by offering visitors an experience that enables them to discover, learn about and understand the site’s raison d’tre and history, as well as to enjoy its heritage interests and cultural resources;
- Make this heritage corridor into a cultural and tourist attraction that stimulates the economy—hence, the urban development— of Montréal.
The concept is structured around the following general directions:
- Consolidating activities along the linear park so as to facilitate access by visitors to heritage resources and centres of interest;
- Developing poles of activities and services in sectors of major interest so as to foster links between the canal and the city;
- Facilitating access and setting up wayside stops for visitors at centres of heritage and recreational interest, as well as at points of interface between the city and canal in those areas that are not integrated into development poles.
The following pages present a series of measures considered necessary to translate each of the above three general directions into results. Given the substantial costs entailed by the canal revitalization project and the need to cultivate partnerships, these measures will be carried out in phases. Phase 1 covers actions and measures for which funding has been procured, including previously completed work, projects now underway, and projects that have already been approved and will be carried out in the immediate or near future. The second phase covers recommended actions that lack funding for the time being and therefore can only be contemplated in the medium and long term, providing that conditions are favourable at that time. Phase 2 actions and measures are presented in italics in the following pages.
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