Save Griffintown!

The Shiller family’s knack for reviving retail streets by ajkandy
October 12, 2007, 2:27 pm
Filed under: local economy, Uncategorized, Urbanism

According to Le Devoir, the Shiller family — best known to Montrealers of a certain age for the campy TV ads they created for their Au Bon Marché store in the 1980s — have moved into the business of buying up moribund retail real estate and transforming blocks into hip, happening places. They’ve revived Masson street, and are now responsible for the attractive mix of shops and restaurants on Notre-Dame near Atwater. (I’d love to get their expertise in on the Village Griffintown project.)

(via Montreal City Weblog)


Just found this blog following a link from Spacing Montreal. Perhaps I am a bit late in the game, but it sounds like the Mall-esque “Griffintown village” development is creeping steadily closer to reality. I took a look at the “rapport synthese” of the Griffintown dialogues on the city website but the workshop didn’t seem to address this…

I have worked with sustainable transportation organizations in Montreal (Equiterre and CGD) and am a proponent of sustainable urban design. I intend to get involved in the public consultations on this issue, but I think a critique of the project would be more valuable if people with a similar alternative vision were a bit organized.

Do you guys know if there any kind of citizens’ organization for sensible urban planning in Griffintown? Want to start one? Feel free to email me…

Comment by Alanah

i am also available to contribute to ensure griffintown will not be polluted by another dix30. i am trying to check out if there are any public hearing scheduled soon. it’d be fun to post the dates here on this blog.

Comment by douaireg

Same thing discovered the blog through SpacingMontreal. I was wondering what ever became from Au Bon marché brothers?

Comment by BruB

This whole scheme looks like Mon-couver. I worked in Vancouver as an architect and I have seen the condo block ghost towns west of the downtown core. There is a similar phenomenon in Old Montreal where the residents do not have local access to basic amenities, so they are required to drive elsewhere from the underground parking garages. When the tourists leave for the summer, the streets are vacant as a consequence. Even Vancouver, though, is learning from the mistakes of past decades. All new development is required to have walk-in retail space on the ground floor – a ‘detail’ that was overlooked in the St-Jacques, Notre-Dame, Montagne, Peel developments. The vacant lots in Griffintown would be better developed with mixed use buildings by independent contractors as has been successfully done in the Plateau and Mile-end. The proposal for Griffintown unveiled last week seems to be out of step with contemporary urban theories that have been both well documented and implemented. I am a supporter of urban densification, but there are plenty of developments of the proposed type already built as examples of how not to go about it. Finally, I am baffled by the Gazette editorial bashing the people in opposition to new developments. If the City were to use a planning strategy that respected the citizens of Montreal, then there would be less need for backlash. I am proud to live in a democratic society and if there is going to be a fight over Griffintown, then I am in. Please post the date for organizational meetings on this site or if nothing has been planned, then I would suggest that an open meeting be schedule within the next couple of weeks.

Comment by Jan Gerardus

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