Following Public Consultation, OCPM Recommends Improvements to Redevelopment Project for 1500 Ottawa Street, Les Bassins du Nouveau Havre
Montréal, June 3, 2009 – The Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM) makes public today the report on the consultation held on the proposed primarily residential redevelopment of the site located at 1500 Ottawa Street in the Sud-Ouest borough. The site is owned by the Canada Lands Company, which is seeking to redevelop the old Canada Post property that once served as a mail sorting centre. The 9.6-ha. space in question is located between du Séminaire, William and Richmond Streets and the Lachine Canal.
The master plan presented in public consultation calls for converting the old water basins into shallow ponds or public areas, and for developing a residential project of approximately 2000 housing units, a mixed section with retail businesses, an employment sector including an inn offering affordable accommodations, a complex of artists’ studios/residences, as well as spaces reserved for social economy organizations. The project would be completed within 10 to 12 years, at an estimated cost of $750 million.
Approximately 250 people participated in the public hearings. The commission received 24 briefs and heard one oral presentation. Some participants opposed the redevelopment of the site, while others proposed improvements to it. All would like the repurposing of the old industrial/port property to contribute to improving the quality of life of Sud-Ouest residents.
The master plan submitted by the CLC is based on a consensus within the Sud-Ouest community supporting a mixed project comprising a residential section, retail businesses and local services, and an employment cluster linked to the presence of the Lachine Canal and developed in a social economy approach. Drawn up in co-operation with local stakeholders, it is generally well received by the population.
However, the public consultation brought to light issues requiring special attention concerning the project’s impact on the urban landscape, the enhancement of vestiges consisting of the former basins of the interior port, and the integration of the project into the Griffintown neighbourhood.
In that respect, the commission offers a few recommendations. In order to maintain the identity of the area, it suggests that the history of Montréal’s interior port be more strongly represented by further exposing the vestiges consisting of the former basins. The commission believes that the volume, height and layout of the buildings should be subjected to a more in-depth assessment of the project’s impact on the urban landscape, in order to maintain views of interest from and of Mount Royal, the River and the Lachine Canal. The commission also believes that the project should be optimized in terms of sunlighting and natural lighting of the spaces.
As to community development and employment, the commissio an agreement with the RESO to reserve, for a period of two to three years, the land earmarked for the development of the employment cluster.
Moreover, the draft By-law should include provisions of the Sud-Ouest borough Planning By-law regulating the construction of buildings exceeding height limits.
Lastly, the commission believes that an overall vision should be established for the redevelopment by the CLC of five Government of Canada surplus properties located in the Montréal harbour. This overall vision would ensure the complementarity of means proposed by the CLC to meet requirements and comply with the various policies of the City of Montréal.
The commission also believes that the CLC, the City, the RESO and Parks Canada should establish a common vision whereby the development of recreational-tourism, artistic and cultural activities on the site contributes to the vitality of the neighbourhood and its integration into Old Montréal and the Old Port.
All documentation pertaining to the consultation, including the report, is available for public perusal at the offices of the OCPM, the Direction du Greffe de la Ville de Montréal, 275 Notre-Dame Street East, and the Sud-Ouest borough office, 815 Bel-Air Street. The documentation is also available on the Office Web site, www.ocpm.qc.ca. For information, please call 514 872-8510.
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