Save Griffintown!

Last Chance To See… Griffintown, on Flickr by ajkandy
January 17, 2008, 3:51 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Griffintown 2007 flickr set by Fotoproze / Lloyd Gross. © All rights reserved.

Before they fall to the wreckers’ ball, check out Lloyd Gross’ fascinating high-res set of a wintry Griffintown, taken last November. Lloyd was born in Griffintown and is now one of the many contributors to the popular Guess Where In Montreal? Flickr group.

I can’t help but think that in other cities, industrial buildings like these are prized and refitted, and right now we’re looking at trashing them. What really stands out in this set is not the condition or noteworthiness of the buildings, but more the opportunity for gentle, sensible infill development and rehabilitation of derelict structures.

…Anyone else reminded of the ongoing subplot of the Robocop movies, where a city/corporation with ulterior motives plans to demolish Old Detroit and replace it with the shiny new consumer paradise, Delta City? Call it disaster urbanism.

Save Griffintown Presentation at Indyish, Jan 25th! by ajkandy
January 15, 2008, 12:31 pm
Filed under: Events, griffintown, indyish, Live Presentations, Urbanism

Check out our new, expanded-and-updated presentation at the Indyish City Mess, a grouping of indie artists, musicians and urbanists (is there such as a thing as an indie urbanist? I guess we count). The goal is to explore “The City” through music, spoken word, film, photography and presentations.

The event starts at 9:00 pm and features music by Lake of Stew, Charlotte Cornfield and Geoff Faribault, spoken word pieces by Alison Louder and Simon Schlesinger, presentations by yourselves truly on Griffintown, and Joel Thibert on Place D’Armes; films and photos.

The shindig is emceed by the hilarious Christine Ghawi and Dan Jeanotte of Uncalled For Improv. There will be door prizes provided by Nightwood Band, and an all-night dance party afterwards with DJ Afrokats.

Event details on Facebook

Friday, January 25th, 9:00pm until 3:00am
Studio 300
409 St-Francois-Xavier
Montreal, QC

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Links for Thursday: Heritage council report, Gazette, La Presse by ajkandy
January 10, 2008, 3:42 pm
Filed under: agencies, Devimco, griffintown, media

The Conseil du Patrimoine report says thumbs down on Village Griffintown (at the Gazette)

The Gazette’s Henry Aubin writes in op-ed: What’s that giant sucking sound?

La Presse’s Martin Croteau: «Village Griffintown»: le promoteur s’étonne des critiques

Thanks to Judith Gobeil for the news roundup.

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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.

Register by 5pm for the URBA conference at ETS, presentation by Devimco’s Serge Goulet by ajkandy
January 9, 2008, 1:50 pm
Filed under: Devimco, ETS, Events, griffintown, Uncategorized

File this one under out-of-the-loop, but I have only now heard that there’s an urbanism conference happening today at the Ecole de Technologie Superieure (corner of Peel and Notre-Dame), where Devimco president Serge Goulet will be presenting information about the Village Griffintown project. Attendance is so high they’ve had to move it into a larger auditorium. The presentation starts at 5:30pm and if you’re interested, you need to get down to the ETS and register before 5pm.

Apparently the Centre de concertation already had a discussion group at the school yesterday (Tuesday January 8th); it seems that the ETS is getting a Devimco-funded chair in sustainable development out of the deal, plus the opportunity to use the project as a “living laboratory” for new building technologies and sustainability practices.

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