From September of 1989 to June, 1990, the City of Montréal and Mayor Jean Doré, in collaboration with a team from the Botanical Gardens, made Parc Jean-Drapeau's Beach a reality: a swimming place in an urban setting that, 60 years earlier, was the brainchild of landscape architect Frederick Todd.
By the numbers:
- A lake with a surface area of 122,000 square metres (the swimming area takes up 15,000 square metres of this space)
- A beach that is 600 metres long and 25 metres wide
- Approximately 30,000 tons of sand
- More than 500 trees
- More than 2,500 shrubs
The water, drawn from the Saint Lawrence River, is filtered by 120,000 water plants (bullrushes, reeds, multi-coloured irises, watercress, pectinated pondweed, etc.) situated in the marshes and spread out into a set of three ponds. With different water levels, the ponds ensure the water trickles slowly over the course of more than 2 days. There are also sand filters and an ultraviolet treatment that complete the filtration process, thereby providing quality water.
A lake, marshes... what an ecosystem!
In addition to welcoming swimmers from all walks of life, this area of île Notre-Dame is an ecosystem that accommodates a broad biodiversity. Along with numerous plant species, there's an impressive array of ducks, birds, groundhogs and even foxes!
To mark its 25th anniversary in 2015, Parc Jean-Drapeau's Beach has been renamed in honour of the mayor at the time, the man who initiated and managed the project: Jean-Doré Beach.