Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Step 1: 2008
Step 2: 2010
Viger will be a 19-story, 828,000 square foot mixed-use project consisting of a 225,000 square foot hotel, 185,000 square foot of retail space, 385,000 square foot of residential space with parking for 1,400. The hotel portion includes the redevelopment of a 150,000 square foot historic chateau-style hotel.
710 Rue Saint-antoine E
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Located in Montreal, Quebec Canada
Net Rentable Area
225,000 sq. ft.
(20,902 sq. meters)
385,000 sq. ft.
(35,766 sq. meters)
185,000 sq. ft.
(17,186 sq. meters)
The renaissance of Viger Square
Phil O'Brien Senior advisor
Telemedia DevelopmentI Inc. Mr. Philip O'Brien will be conducting a presentation about the Viger site on the eastern edge of Old Montreal. He will discuss the history of the site: the building of a grand hotel and railway station in what was then the central core of Montreal, its prominence as a prestigious address for business elites, and its cultural significance for the city of Montreal. The context of its decline during the 20th century will be outlined: from the changing economic conditions in the 1930s and its demise to its current state in the urban environment, resulting from the expansion of the railway yards, the digging of the open trench of the Ville-Marie expressway, and the demolition of a vast number of houses to make room for the CBC project. He will then highlight the exciting potential for redevelopment in light of changing local economic conditions and redevelopment opportunities for this area of town.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
from 7:30 to 9 a.m.
1228 Sherbrooke Street W.
(Courtesy of The Gazette)
Ahead: A brighter horizon for Cabot Square
Plans due; Downtown area in search of an identity
Source: The Gazette
Cty councillor Karim Boulos is standing in the Canadian Centre for Architecture, airing his optimism over a scale model of what is known as "the Cabot Square area" - a part of the Peter McGill district he represents.
But the Cabot Square area is also a stretch of Ste. Catherine St. that makes many Montrealers wince.
The thoroughfare between Lambert Closse and Chomedey Sts. has been this city's version of a picture of Dorian Gray, a pastiche of boarded-up storefronts, crumbling facades and grafitti that seems to have spread while other neighbourhoods renewed themselves.
However, by this time next Monday, Boulos and the rest of the city will get a bigger glimpse of what might happen to the piece of downtown that's been in search of an identity for nearly a generation. That's when three teams of architects and urban planners will submit their versions of what should be done to revive the Cabot Square area.
Boulos, Ville Marie borough mayor Benoit Labonté and members of an alliance of neighbourhood businesses and residents met the press yesterday to detail the attempts to revitalize the neighbourhood.
The planning teams were formed after a collection of 25 business, property owners and residents' associations started the Table de concertation du centre-ville ouest.
"The properties may be empty but the owners are still paying taxes," Boulos said. "They haven't left, they're waiting to see what's going to happen."
The plans submitted by the teams will be judged by a jury that includes architect and Harvard professor Joan Busquest, Dinu Bumbaru of Heritage Montreal and founding director Phyllis Lambert of the Canadian Centre for Architecture.
The successful submission will form the basis for an urban plan that will produced by the borough and submitted to public consultations.
Boulos suggests that if everything goes well, changes in the district might begin "by this fall."
And for Lambert, whose architectural centre sprawls across the neighbourhood's southern edge, change is what's needed for a district that spent decades losing more than it's gained.
"Over the last years, this area has deteriorated miserably," she said. "There used to be the Forum and all those stores where the Faubourg (Ste. Catherine) is. ... But it just goes down the drain further and further.
"Then there's the block ... just to the east of the Forum with the (Seville) theatre on it, which has been boarded up for years.
"And this just destroys the whole area. People have no respect (for the neighbourhood), and why would you? People just walk down the street and it's so miserable."
Lambert's nephew, Stephen Bronfman, is chairman of Claridge Inc., an investment company that owns the Seville Theatre block.
Asked in October about the condition of the block, Lambert told The Gazette: "It is coming along. Slowly, but we are working closely with the city and other landlords in the area. It takes time to do properly."
Labonté says a development project for the Seville block is under study by the borough's urban committee. Boulos has said in earlier interviews that a private investor plans to turn the block into student residences.
"What I can tell you about this project," Labonté said, "is that that there will be lots of room for students - especially for Concordia University - and the design of the building will be quite impressive. ... I'm pretty confident this project at the Seville Theatre will start the renewal of this leg of Ste. Catherine St."
A decision by the borough on which development plan will be used is expected in May. But final approval will rest with the city's executive committee.
In the meantime, Montrealers and the people who own the storefronts that make them wince wait to see what's going to happen.
ENcore une fois, tiré de la Gazette de ce matin!
More cars for busiest train line
DAVID JOHNSTON, The Gazette
The Montreal area's busiest commuter-rail line will get double-decker cars thanks to $120 million in new provincial money for suburban-train infrastructure.
The introduction of double-decker service on the Montreal/Deux Montagnes line tops the priority list for the new three-year capital-spending plan of the Metropolitan Transit Agency.
The plan is to be made public in the next two weeks.
It will boost the number of double-decker cars in the MTA's 200-car fleet well above the current 22 - which are used on commuter lines to Rigaud and Blainville-St. Jérôme. The combined ridership on these new lines is barely two-thirds of the 31,000 carried daily on the Deux Montagnes line.
By comparison, all 415 GO trains in the metropolitan Toronto commuter-rail network have double-decker cars.
Renewal of the train fleet will put double-decker trains where they are needed most - on the busiest lines, and during rush-hour periods, MTA official Mélanie Nadeau said yesterday.
Rush-hour trains on the Deux Montagnes line run well above 100-per-cent capacity now. Crowding is a sore point with users.
The line carries 31,000 people a day. It runs from Central Station through St. Laurent, the West Island and Laval and into the St. Eustache-Deux Montagnes area.
© The Gazette (Montreal) 2007