MONTREAL – If you’re looking for a relaxing day in the park, think again.
Place du Canada was slated to reopen Tuesday after the original date was pushed back from the end of October.
Now, it looks like there’s another delay.
“Thursday we’ll be done and the gates will come down,” said worker Rene Gagné.
More delays? A city worker I spoke to this morning says no way park will be open today. pic.twitter长沙桑拿/cTSAeqHrIS
— Kelly Greig (@KellyGreig) November 10, 2015
The project isn’t only behind schedule, it’s also over budget.
The total cost: $10 million; that’s about $700 000 more than what was anticipated.
Work on the square wasn’t exactly straightforward, it was a graveyard until 1854 before being converted into a public space.
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Place du Canada park opening delayed
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Place du Canada construction
“The thing that is very uncommon with this cemetery-turned-into-public-square is that there’s a quantity of burials still in the ground,” said Heritage Montreal’s Dinu Bumbaru.
“There’s an estimated 55,000. They were afraid of epidemics and plagues in the 19th century.”
“People had died from them and they were buried here. They were afraid if they moved the remains they would reactivate the epidemic.”
In recent years, this has continued to be a spot to honour fallen soldiers with Remembrance Day ceremonies.
When construction took over in 2009, the commemoration was moved to McGill University, who offered more space and a secure location.
“We have 150 armoured guard that used to stand on the street,” said Remembrance Day organizer Norman Shelton.
“Now, we have the whole football field. We are getting 700 military there and our crowds are up to 2,000 to 3,000 now. There’s just so much room.”
Organizers of the Remembrance Day ceremonies said there are no plans to go back to Place du Canada.
As the park is set to reopen, that doesn’t mean the end of construction.
The southern end of the park near De la Gauchetière Street will be overhauled in 2018.