Montreal's participatory budget: The city unveils seven projects selected by Montrealers

02 Sep 2021


Go back to NewsMontreal's participatory budget: The city unveils seven projects selected by Montrealers

The City of Montreal is pleased to unveil the seven projects chosen by citizens as part of its first-ever participatory budget. More than 20,000 Montrealers took part in this remarkable exercise in citizen participation. They selected projects that respond to the social and environmental challenges of our time by participating in an online vote from June 11 to July 11. The seven winning projects will contribute to Montreal's ecological and social transition by promoting greening, biodiversity, urban agriculture and more inclusive living situations.

"The participatory budget is a concrete way of mobilizing the collective intelligence of Montrealers to resolve urban issues. This exercise is a great source of pride for our administration. One thing we have learned by examining the selected projects is the importance that people attach to improving their living environment, protecting nature in the city and reappropriating public spaces for the benefit of the entire population. I would like to thank those who participated in the vote and I salute the work of the citizens, partners and teams of the City for their involvement throughout the process," said Mayor Valérie Plante.

"The participatory budget is a tool for citizen engagement that allows the population to get involved in decision-making. The quality and diversity of the projects submitted have piqued the interest of a large number of Montrealers. Indeed, more than 20,000 people participated in the vote! Thanks to the $10 million we have dedicated to the participatory budget, the seven projects developed and chosen by the city's population will see the light of day," said Émilie Thuillier, responsible for democracy and transparency, communications and citizen experience, and heritage on the executive committee.

The Process

The City of Montreal has set aside $10 million over a two-year period to carry out projects proposed and chosen by the population as part of its first participatory budget. In the fall of 2020, nearly 4 500 people contributed and initial 620 ideas. Of these, after several stages of sorting, analysis and development, 35 projects were submitted to public vote. Between June 11 and July 11, 20 017 people aged 12 and over, as well as local merchants, participated in the vote to determine the projects to be implemented by the City.

The seven winning projects are those that received the most votes from the public. The projects are spread throughout the city. Six of them specifically concern 14 boroughs and one project concerns the entire territory. Notably, these projects will allow for the creation of biodiversity poles within the city, the conversion of old parking lots into green spaces, the development of a local food system, the widespread use of reusable water bottles and access to drinking water, as well as universal accessibility in cultural and festive life throughout all neighbourhoods.

The seven winning projects are:

● The mini-forests of Montreal

● Water in your gourd!

● Safe and inclusive festive furniture

● The Ethel Garden

● Our 4-season greenhouse in Saint-Michel

● Ecological Corridor of the Greater Southwest

● Quai34

A detailed breakdown of each winning project, as well as the complete ranking of the 35 projects submitted for voting, are available on the Making it Happen website. The City will begin planning and implementing them in the fall of 2021.



Here are the 7 projects chosen by Montrealers:

1 - Montreal's mini-forests

8,553 votes (chosen by 42.7% of those who voted), Budget: $1.4 million

Creation of 7 protected mini-forests in local parks or underutilized municipal spaces to increase the city's canopy and provide an opportunity for quiet contemplation. Locations: Montreal-North, Outremont, Pierrefonds-Roxboro, Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie, Verdun

2 - Water in your gourd!

4,868 votes (chosen by 24.3% of those who voted), Budget: $2.7M

Adding more than 125 water fountains and reusable bottle dispensers in high-traffic and currently underserved areas. Locations: Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce,L'Île-Bizard-Saint-Geneviève,

Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Outremont, Saint-Léonard, Ville-Marie

3 - Safe and inclusive festive furniture

4,633 votes (chosen by 23.1% of those who voted), Budget: $650,000

Improving the supply of universally accessible municipal equipment available for the organization of small events on the public domain. Locations: All boroughs

4 - Le Jardin Éthel

4,161 votes (chosen by 20.8% of voters), Budget: $755,000

Transformation of the top floor of the Éthel parking lot into a public space dedicated to urban agriculture, greening, art and culture, while offering a spectacular view of Montreal. Location: Verdun

5 - Our 4-season greenhouse in Saint-Michel

3,782 votes (chosen by 18.9% of voters), Budget: $765,000

Construction of a greenhouse, coupled with an outdoor garden, to produce fresh fruits and vegetables year-round, to host groups and to distribute the harvest at an affordable price in the neighbourhood. Location: Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension (north of the Saint-Michel environmental complex)

6 - Greater Southwest Ecological Corridor

3,727 votes (chosen by 18.6% of voters), Budget: $2.7M

Creation of connections between important existing biodiversity cores by enhancing green alleys and establishing new planting islands of trees, shrubs and pollinator gardens. Locations: LaSalle (Parc des Rapides, Baie de Quenneville and along the Canal de l'Aqueduc), Le Sud-Ouest (green alleys, Irwin and La Vérendrye streets and Parc des Métallos, Saint-Jean-Bosco, Saint-Jean-de-Matha and Curé-Labelle)

7 - Quai34

3,718 votes (chosen by 18.6% of those who voted), Budget: $1M

Redevelopment of a wharf and greening of mineralized spaces along the river to make it a safe, welcoming space that is conducive to socializing and practicing various activities such as observation or fishing. Location: Lachine (near the St. Lawrence River and 34th Avenue)


From ideas to projects

● 620 citizen ideas collected;

● 4 500 people contributed to propose these ideas;

● 20 representatives of civil society participated, along with City employees, in developing the ideas into projects;

● 300 City employees participated in the various stages of the process;

● 35 projects were submitted for voting at the end of the sorting, development and analysis phases.

Neighbourhood outreach activities during the voting phase

● 50 locations visited and 2,250 people informed.


- 20 017 votes registered, which represents a participation of 1.2% of the Montreal population aged 12 and over;

- As a reminder, people aged 12 and over who live in Montreal could vote as well as merchants in the territory.

The winning projects

● 7 projects were chosen from the 35 submitted for voting;

● These are the projects that received the most public votes (cumulative total of 33 442 votes - each participant could choose up to 5 projects);

● 14 boroughs are directly affected by the projects;

● 1 project serves the entire City.

Next step - Planning and implementation of projects

● Starting in the fall of 2021.