Save Griffintown!

City agencies claim Village Griffintown “could jeopardize World Heritage City status” by ajkandy
January 9, 2008, 2:08 pm
Filed under: agencies, developers, Devimco, griffintown, media, Uncategorized

Two city agencies have come down harshly on the current Village Griffintown project, as it proposes to demolish or alter several listed heritage buildings, and because the project was never submitted for a proper series of public consultations, as is required by the City code. The modifications to the area proposed by Devimco “puts Montreal’s status as a UNESCO World Heritage site” at risk, says a memo obtained by La Presse.

The agencies’ misgivings were submitted to the project committee before Christmas, but were never made public. The head of Montreal 2025 and a member of the city’s Executive Committee, Alan deSousa, says that all of their input was incorporated into a modified plan that reduced commercial space, but says “there’s no question of bringing this to the OCPM (Office des consultations publiques de Montréal).” Instead, the Sud-Ouest borough will be holding hearings at its public meetings, under the Programme particulier d’urbanisme banner.

Full article here at La Presse.

Speaking personally, I find the lack of a truly transparent public consultation process to be a sign that the city doesn’t intend to listen to its citizens. The local-borough meeting process is really less than informative: you have to email someone to get them to add you to a mailing list (nope, no web-based signup links or anything).

The list periodically sends you a Word document (!) which lists upcoming meeting topics, most of which are written in appalling bureaucratese and which often make reference to case numbers instead of the name of the project. So far I don’t think they’ve done any meetings on Village Griffintown, but they’re supposed to have at least a few before April — when I get the information I’ll repost it here.


I am interested in knowing whether this development project for Griffintown is committed to green building. Every building built or renovated today that is not green is a 50-year mistake. The city and borough should insist and require that all new buildings, and all renovations, a LEED rating of gold or better.

Comment by Geoff Garver

The word is yes, they will be aiming for LEED certification, at least for the commercial buildings. They’re leaving the condo towers up to other developers, so I’m not sure about those.

Comment by ajkandy

Yes, alot of concerns regarding this project and the fact that the OCPM is not involved only makes it more suspicious. However, one must consider the benefits of reducing sprawl and automobile trips towards the south shore for shopping that this project could reduce.

Comment by Jonny

We’re all for reducing sprawl, but we haven’t seen anything that would indicate that this would reduce shopping trips in either direction. If anything, it stands to draw shopping traffic away from Sainte Catherine Street, which is only now profitable again after nearly three decades of recession (70s-90s).
There’s another, bigger reason not to support a huge shopping mall — such a building is not easily repurposed, compared to several buildings at smaller scale, for instance. The next post I’m going to publish is also going to address the survivability of “consumer culture” without cheap energy — which is actually going to be an issue by the time this thing is slated to be built.

Comment by ajkandy

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