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Seven initiatives to save downtown Montreal

Seven initiatives to save downtown Montreal

In order to bring people back to downtown Montreal, which has become somewhat deserted since the pandemic, the city is relying on the installation of new sculptures, but also on the creation of new housing that has already been announced and improved hygiene.

“if [le centre-ville] “The city of Montreal is doing well, and some challenges have intensified in recent years, like what we see in other city centers internationally, in terms of space occupancy in office towers, commercial vitality, social issues or mobility,” admitted Montreal Mayor Valéry. Blunt.

“Therefore, the challenge facing us is significant: to rethink the long-term development of the city center and implement structural initiatives to enhance the attractiveness and resilience of the city center,” she added during her vision presentation Tuesday morning.

Here are some of the initiatives the Plante administration plans to implement over the coming years to save the city's downtown core:

• Adding new distinctive street furniture and interactive methods

This isn't the first time the City of Montreal has decided to add furniture to revitalize the neighbourhood. Last May, animal sculptures were installed on Rue Saint-Catherine, opposite Place Emilie Gamelin.

For the mayor, this made it possible to “restore a sense of security” to the village.

• Designation of the Latin Quarter as a “Francophone district”

The Latin Quarter could also benefit by the summer of 2025 from the construction of 700 residential units on the Îlot Voyageur site located on Boulevard Maisonneuve Est, at the intersection with Rue Berri, Plante's management announced last week.

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“The Îlot Voyageur redevelopment project will contribute directly to the fight against the housing crisis, while revitalizing a key sector in the city center, near the village and the Latin Quarter,” the mayor noted.

• Creating two new neighborhoods in the Faubourg and Bridge Bonaventure sectors

According to the city, more than 15,000 units can be created in these two sectors. Of this total, approximately 7,600 residential units should be built in Bridge-Bonaventure, where the Forges de Montréal, the MELS studio, but also the Port of Montreal and CN activities are currently located, Plante's management said last March. .

• Strengthening the position of the city center in the sectors of technology, health, cultural and creative industries

“Global economic growth is slowing down and major cities face increasing competition to attract the best investments and talent. This context requires us to redouble our efforts so that Quebec's economic locomotive can perform well on the international stage,” stressed Stephane Paquet, President and CEO of Montreal International.

• Create better connections between neighborhoods and create a pedestrian priority area in Old Montreal

The city's mayor had already presented this proposal during the Montreal Climate Summit held last May. Ms. Plante then promised to make Old Montreal a “pedestrian kingdom” starting in the summer of 2024.

• Improving the cleanliness of public spaces, building maintenance and obstacle management

The City of Montreal already committed last year to reducing unnecessary obstacles in the city and managing it better, particularly during its summit on construction sites.

A few months later, these initiatives still do not appear to have borne fruit, according to a study by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM) published last November. It was noted that “the network of arteries surrounding the city center continues to be obstructed due to uncoordinated work that harms accessibility and the smooth flow of travel.”

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Regarding cleanliness, the Ville-Marie district allocated an additional $2 million to add to its cleanliness budget last May, particularly to increase its workforce.

• Prioritize investments in existing buildings in order to reverse the trend of increasing vacancy rates, particularly in the former Royal Victoria Hospital and Voyageur Island

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