10 comments

  1. >Is the Quadrilatère really the only chance we’ll get for this legendary strip of the Main?

    uh, money talks.

    Don’t ever forget this first rule of civic planning.

    Especially in Montreal!

  2. The Executive Committee needs to be expropriated, demolished, and replaced with an open concept that reflects the ideas of the people who live and work in the city. “Slowness” is just a political word that means the developers are anxious to get going (making profits). Maybe we need to go a step further by making applications public instead of by private lobbying (wining and dining). It is becoming increasingly popular in other cities to have competitions for projects that can be publicly reviewed. Montreal is one of the “oldest” cities in North America in terms of architectural heritage and we desperately need to have leaders who want to preserve our cultural urbanscapes as well as meet the demands of a new era.

  3. Are you kidding about the metro? Of this plan, that is the least worrisome, and the metro currently sticks out as an underdeveloped structure in the middle of a sprawling metropolis, its growth stunted by neglect. I welcome Le Parallèle, it’s a good idea long coming.

  4. Thierry Vandal utilise son pouvoir discrétionnaire pour usurper les argents d’Hydro-Québec pour ensuite les refiler au groupe d’élus de son choix. Une sorte de Robin des Bois qui vole aux pauvres pour enrichir les riches.

    Encore cela n’était pas assez car, s’étant fait prendre à son jeu pervers de générosité bien choisie, on met maintenant sur pieds l’ultime passe-droit.

    Hydro-Québec deviendra locataire de la SDA (une organisation privée à but non lucratif) qui pourra ensuite, et ce sans droit de regard de la part des contribuables, redistribuer ses profits au cercle de ces élus.

    Intouchables, ceux-ci continueront alors de s’enrichir aux dépends des autres.

  5. Hopefully Marc Dufour was being sarcastic here… Tough I can’t quite make up my mind, is he?

  6. So they suddenly decided “slowing down” the project to “revitalize” that block means taking 3 to 5 years to develop a new plan for it– but somehow it also means shutting down every last business currently operating there immediately.

    Hmm, way to carry out a “revitalization” project in concert with the businesses of the area!!

    It takes some cojones to claim they’re doing this to “revitalize” a block when in fact they’re sucking it of what life it has for years to come.

    Remember when the block across the street from the Spectrum was expropriated and emptied out in 2002 for the new concert hall that’s just starting to be built now? That cost more than 7 years of various lost tax revenues, 7 years of lower business for neighboring restaurants and shops, the blight of a number of buildings sitting vacant and lifeless for 7 years … Some revitalization!

    To read the Executive Committee members’ statements, you’d think the current block in question is already completely vacant and that they are heroically pushing past the naysayers with their actions to finally bring it back to life…

    They would never admit this, but their actions prove they’ve decided any new plan for the area MUST NOT INCLUDE the 100-year old local institution, the Montreal Poolroom; the nearly 120-year-old pristine cabaret space Café Cléopatra; the oldest Mideast food market in Canada, Main Importations; the remaining nightclub (a favourite of Montreal Canadiens players among other moneyed clientele) Club Opéra; and the Saints showbar (still housed along with the Seduction boutique in a rather beautiful and increasingly rare Art Deco-style corner building, built in the 1940s as Woolworth’s flagship downtown store).

    None of this really makes sense — unless you know that the promoter involved is a close friend (and campaign contributor) of the Mayor, and that this friend is married to the director of the Théatre du Nouveau Monde next door to this block (who’s made it clear she doesn’t think the current nightclubs or ANY hot dog joint has any place in the area’s future.) Mix in some past fraud convictions among those involved and the lack of any open competition for this plum development contract, and you have all that is horribly wrong with this city in a nutshell.

    I’m sure the Executive Committee hoped their Thursday motion would go unnoticed over the weekend and would sail quietly through Monday night’s council vote, but luckily a lot of Montrealers did notice it, and should be making some noise about this on Monday …

  7. There are historic, still-operating, and thriving businesses running here – this plan and its adoption by the City boggles the mind. Leave the St. Laurent side of this block alone. If they want to develop the Clark side, great. I don’t see the point of this “mega” project destroying what is organic and working well here: the gritty-ness is what makes it interesting.

  8. I don’t get the idea that Marc was being facetious, but that édicule was originally built as a temporary structure, and it is sad indeed to see the vacant lot at the corner of St-Laurent and boulevard de Maisonneuve, atop a métro station and so central for cultural amenities.

    It is criminal not to preserve the historic but rundown buildings along St-Laurent south of Ste-Catherine; they do need sprucing up but not elimination or façadism.

  9. Good point Maria — instead of being against the project, we should propose they use a fraction of the $170 million dollars to properly renovate the buildings on that block and let cultural entrepreneurs rent them out and bring them back to life.

    The block should be treated like the blocks of St. Denis and Crescent on either side of Ste. Catherine St. — human scale, renovated heritage buildings, rooftop and other terrasses — that’s how you get some nightlife and cultural activity in an area, not just here but in any large city.

    I don’t believe for a second the developer’s claim that nothing short of a multi-storey office tower can be built downtown without losing money. Someone forgot to tell this to Jacques Villeneuve when he bought and renovated a heritage building on Crescent for his “Newtown” resto-bar a few years ago …

    All of this comes to a head tonight at the last council meeting before the election — it starts at 7 p.m. but you have to sign up at 5 p.m. if you want to make a comment or ask a question. It’s at City Hall, Notre Dame just east of St-Urbain, Champ de Mars or Place d’Armes metro …

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