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Montreal explorers find cavern surprise


Montreal may have a new tourist site in its future, but so far it's not a sight. It's a series of ice-age caverns, partially filled with water, lying deep below the city's Saint Leonard district.

The network of 15,000-year-old caverns is believed to have formed during the last ice age, and has long been known to cave enthusiasts, but a discovery by two members of the Quebec Speleological Society has changed the picture by finding a new passageway, 200 meters long and mostly filled with water 6 meters deep.

Luc Le Blanc and Daniel Caron spent years tapping and drilling in an area under Parc Pie XII, where they were sure there was more to be found. And they were right. Le Blanc told Global News: “At the end of the passage we explored so far, the water is five metres deep. We have to explore with an inflatable canoe and eventually we have to leave the canoe and go with our fins. We broke a small hole and through that window, we could see the void. Then we made our way through.”

The city is interested in having a full investigation, and in the possibility of opening the caves to the public. The local city councilor told media “It could be something unique in the world... Normally you think about caves, you think of far away in the mountains, but it’s right here in the city.”

Photo: Luc Le Blanc / Quebec Speleological Society

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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