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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Plateau Reveals Plans for Saint-Viateur Est


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Special report by Steve Charters.

On Tuesday May 1, the Plateau borough held an open house in the Mile End to launch their redevelopment plan Secteur Saint-Viateur Est, the enclaved industrial buildings located between rues Saint-Laurent, MacGuire and Henri-Julien, abutting the railroad tracks.  Plans for redeveloping this area have been in the works since 2005, and are publically available on the City website (PDF).

Several Borough representatives and members of the design team were on hand to discuss their proposals for the next phase of construction with local residents. At the center of this redevelopment plan are the iconic industrial buildings on rue de Gaspé which as of February have been subject to an interesting interim control bylaw designed to protect the workspaces of the more than 800 artists and cultural producers who work in them from being displaced by developers.

The concepts on display on Tuesday will take place in parallel to the zoning amendments. The basis of the Borough’s plan is to improve the permeability of the area by adding new pedestrian and cycling infrastructure. Plans include a bi-directional bike path on Henri-Julien that would link into the Montreal network at Laurier, a multi-use ‘allée cyclopédestre’ that would cut east/west between the buildings on what is now an informal walking path, and new pedestrian paths along the eastern base of the buildings to improve ground floor access. Le Champ-des-Possibles, would be protected as a green space.

A key element of the plan is a proposed level crossing at the train tracks, which would finally provide a connection between the Mile End and Petite Patrie and the Rosemont metro. Of course, this aspect of the plan still depends on cooperation from CP.  A member of the design team cited the local precedent of the Ball Street pedestrian crossing that connects Parc Ex and Villeray and offers access to Parc Jarry. According to a Borough official, those negotiations are ongoing but we will have to wait to see if an agreement can be reached.

One potential point of conflict could be the intersection of Saint-Viateur and the proposed pedestrian and cycling alley.  The arrangement of buildings and streets if off-centre here, and rue de Gaspé has some heavy truck traffic.  Can this intersection be designed in such a way that ensures the safety of pedestrians and cyclists trying to cross it?

The borough is currently inviting residents to residents to consult the plans online, and submit ideas and feedback by 16h30, 8 May to Work will begin in spring/summer 2013.


One comment

  1. The borough is inviting comments to a gmail address?  Did their mail server break?

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