Heated sidewalks just part of $95M makeover in Montreal
Saturday, May 16, 2015, 10:05 PM - Montreal's Ste-Catherine Street West will be getting a makeover, complete with free Wi-Fi, electric car charging stations and heated sidewalks. It's the first phase in a $95-million, four-year project that will begin in spring 2017.
Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre made the announcement Wednesday.
Details on how the sidewalk will be heated haven't been released, but Mayor Coderre says the technology will be used on 670-metres of roadway from Ste-Catherine to Bleury St. to Mansfield St.
Construction is scheduled to wrap in 2019.
WHAT ARE HEATED SIDEWALKS?
Officials across the country have debated installing heated sidewalks in snow and ice-prone cities for years.
The technology appears to be working well on the volcanic island of Iceland, which uses geothermal heat to keep its roadways and sidewalks clear of snow.
Sapporo, Japan, one of the snowiest cities on the planet, has also had great success with heated sidewalk technology.
Here in Canada, Saskatoon officials have considered installing geothermal panels under sidewalks to pull in moisture and keep ice of the road.
The concept has the potential to reduce snow-clearing costs and ice-related injuries. Heated sidewalks could also increase foot traffic in the winter, leading to more tax revenue.
Skeptics say operating costs and repairing breakdowns could exceed potential financial gains.
Here's what residents in Vancouver and Calgary think about heated sidewalks: