The old industrial area in the east part of Mile End, between St. Laurent and Henri Julien is set for a makeover. Yesterday, the city announced that $8.8 million will be invested in a two-year project meant to polish the district’s streets and improve its connections with surrounding neighbourhoods.
Later this year, overhead electrical wires will be buried, new lampposts installed and sidewalks widened along St. Viateur from St. Laurent to de Gaspé. Then, next year, the city will extend St. Viateur from de Gaspé to Henri Julien. Finally, in 2010, a new pedestrian bridge will be built over the CPR tracks between Henri Julien and the rue des Carrières, giving Mile Enders easier access to Rosemont metro.
At its heart, these investments are meant to attract new real estate development — the city expects $250 million worth of new residential and commercial projects in the east of Mile End over the next ten years. It makes sense: look at at the area from above and you’ll see that most of it is woefully underused, with an abundance of low-slung light industrial buildings, parking lots and vacant lots.
Across the CPR tracks, even more ambitious plans are in store for the city-owned last just east of Rosemont metro as well as the STM bus garage at the corner of Rosemont and St. Denis. Yesterday, the mayor estimated that at least 3,000 new apartments will be built within walking distance of the metro.