How one small Quebec town plans to buy a big mountain

The municipality views the purchase of Mont Loup-Garou as an investment that will attract visitors.

Sainte-Adèle wants to turn Mont Loup-Garou into a public park

The town of Sainte-Adèle, located about 70 kilometres northwest of Montreal, is hoping to raise $3 million to buy Mont Loup-Garou, or Werewolf Mountain in English.

The municipality is planning to convert the space into a public park and take steps to protect the summit from residential development.

Mont Loup-Garou, which belongs in sections to nine private owners, is the highest summit in the Pays-d’en-Haut region.

The current owners allow locals to use the mountain for hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing and skiing.

If Sainte-Adèle were to acquire it, the town plans to spend $2.4 million on the land and an additional $600,000 to install public toilets, parking infrastructure and a ski waxing station.

“Ninety per cent of our outdoor network doesn’t belong to us,” said Mayor Nadine Brière. “In purchasing more — we’re talking about 810 acres — we will really be positioned as an outdoor activities town.”

It’s a pretty steep price tag for a town with only 12,000 residents, but the Sainte-Adèle chamber of commerce has come out in favour of the project.

Sainte-Adèle resident Pascal Morin told Radio-Canada that he supports the idea of converting Werewolf Mountain into a public park.

Not all locals agree though. Hundreds of people have signed a register to insist that the town hold a referendum on the idea of taking out a $3-million loan to pay for the project.

The register needs 1,113 names in order to trigger a referendum. Only 416 people had signed as of Friday.

Exploring other sources of funding

The municipality views the purchase of Mont Loup-Garou as an investment that will attract visitors.

Mayor Brière said she believes that with diverse sources of funding, the sale won’t cost taxpayers the full $3 million.

“We want to get government grants, donations, sponsorships,” she said. “We want to run a crowdfunding campaign.”

She said in order to secure these things, the town will have to move forward on obtaining a loan and securing the land deal.

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