The abandoned rail bed, now replaced by the linear park “Le petit-Train-du-Nord”, has a turbulent past, which has given rise to numerous efforts on our part in order to preserve the safety and tranquility of the homeowners adjacent to the trail.
L’Association du lac Mercier is much in favour of non-polluting activities on the linear park.
The linear park has allowed all those who participate in « green” activities, to enjoy the beautiful landscape bordering the lake, which is a unique attraction requiring preservation.
The objectives of our interventions are:
-maintain the stability of the surface of the linear park because of the numerous contaminants trapped therein, and minimize actions that could alter the surface,
-preserve the vegetal cover along the edge of the track surface in order to return it to it’s original state,
-limit erosion within the few meters that separate the linear park from the lake.
These objectives lead us to oppose any usage that could interfere with the natural state of the linear park by modifying or enlarging the surface of the track.
We must ensure that all regulations currently in place for the protection of the shoreline, be respected and enforced.
During the Fall of 2013, despite our numerous protests, the city council approved the paving of the Linear Park from St-Jovite sector to the “Place de la Gare” in the village. The project was completed in a few weeks shortly afterwards.
-Biking and Strolling:
The trail around lac Mercier is a regional tourist attraction. There are not many similar places so conducive to pedestrian strolling, jogging or family cycling with such a spectacular view of the lake.
People come to lac Mercier because of it’s rural atmosphere.
The surface of the trail in stone dust as well as the numerous rest stops, contribute to the natural appearance of this portion of the Linear Park.
-Cross country ski:
Agreement was reached between the city and Mont-Tremblant Cross country ski during January 2011, to ensure grooming of the cross-country ski trails on lac Mercier portion of the Linear Park.
Recommendations have been made such that trail grooming be done at a reasonable time, and that barriers impeding motorized vehicles, be left in place permanently.
Lake access along the linear park and MRC rules:
Access to the public beach at Lac Mercier offers residents and visitors a unique location for leisure activities.
Because the linear park covers 50% of the lake’s perimeter, many adjacent property owners must cross the track to reach the edge of the lake.
The MRC is responsible for authorizing any right of access or installations on their property.
Non-authorized occupations and abuses relating to brush cutting, have been observed for many years all along the park.
Illegal installations (docks, stairs, platforms), as well as boat anchorage in non-authorized areas, are a major cause for the loss of natural cover.
During Winter 2013, the MRC modified it’s management scheme which included a prohibition against the installation of docks within government’s property.
L’Association du lac Mercier proposed a compromise to ensure that the rights of our members who are contiguous to the linear park, be preserved to allow access to the lake, and the placing of a dock.
We were able to get one representative from the Lake Association appointed to a working group, within the MRC Committee tasked with developing regulations and guiding principles relating to the usage of the shoreline component of the linear park.
A policy authorizing access to the lake on behalf of adjacent residents, was approved by the MRC (mayors council) in April 2014.
The new MRC initiative related to the policy of occupation of portions of the linear park includes:
– The granting of new permits to the current holders of leases, and to owners of a property contiguous to the linear park; the granting of permits and their renewal must conform to requirements of the regulation;
– The granting of a grace period to those who are currently illegal, to normalize their right to occupy;
– The obligation of new permit holders to adhere to the rules of usage;
– The obligation to respect municipal regulations relating to the protection of the shoreline.
At the end of the grace period, projected to January 2016, no new permits of occupation will be issued nor renewed if the occupant does not conform to principles and requirements described in the MRC policy and the municipal bylaws.
August 2016: Several property owners who are contiguous to the linear park have fulfilled the requirement of the occupation policy, but are still waiting for their permits. It seems that the delay is at the level of the provincial Ministry of Transport.