Dozens of Montrealers took the plunge at the Old Port Tuesday morning, part of an annual event to promote public access to the St. Lawrence River.
It was the 11th annual jump off the Jacques Cartier pier, an initiative to show the population that the St. Lawrence is clean enough to swim in and a pressure tactic on officials to build more infrastructure around the island to make that possible.
"The water is as good as some lakes in the Laurentians," Chantal Rouleau, the city executive member in charge of water said.
"We have this beautiful island, surrounded by more than 100 km of water, and we don’t have access to it, we have nothing, it’s fine to invest a few bucks to swim again in the city," the Opposition chief at Montreal City Hall, Richard Bergeron, said after jumping in.
Rouleau says the city invests 200 to 400 million a year in water management.
“You can go to the Reseau des suivis aquatic de Montreal and it’s tested every week or two, the quality of the water here is excellent, the requirement is less than 200 and it’s not even 10,” Pierre Lussier, one of the event organizers said.