Save Griffintown!

Canada Post Plant Project is: Les Bassins du Nouveau-Havre by ajkandy
November 12, 2008, 4:15 pm
Filed under: Events, griffintown, news

Officially launched today, the proposed project, put forth by Canada Lands Company and the Montreal Harbour Commission, gets an official name, “Les Bassins du Nouveau Havre,” and a spiffy blue website with a video overview of the proposed design. Most of the good stuff is in PDFs (typical, sigh). But the project looks decent and very interesting. The public can swing by the site (dates given in previous post) to check out the model and other materials.

Although the URL, “,” made one friend of mine think “Lesbassins? Lesbian assassins? Did they have this run by an English translator at all?”

Judging by the overview PDF (2 MB) which contains numerous egregiously bad typos and francisms, apparently they didn’t hire an English translator or copyeditor at all but just decided to wing it. (Governments! Corporations! Design firms and other agencies! I can do this for you. My rates are not expensive. Is it really worth it to look illiterate?)

Projet Griffintown construction pushed forward to 2010 by ajkandy
November 11, 2008, 12:30 pm
Filed under: griffintown

Griffintown 2010

New aerial view rendering of Projet Griffintown, by Devimco (via Cyberpresse)

Breaking: Reader Sam alerts us to these stories from Canoe Finance / Cyberpresse. Due to the global financial crisis, construction on Devimco’s Projet Griffintown, originally slated to begin with a round of demolition in Spring 2009, has now been pushed forward to Spring 2010. The final purchasing of the land options, originally to be wrapped up this fall, has now been extended to summer 2009. Devimco’s Serge Goulet is quoted as saying that money for construction costs, estimated at $400 million, “can’t be found in Montreal.” $210 million for land acquisition has already been secured.

Read more at’s Argent section and Eric Clément’s longer story at Cyberpresse.

Harvard hates trains? by ajkandy
November 10, 2008, 10:25 am
Filed under: griffintown

Philip Greenspun argues over at his Harvard Law School blog that instead of bailing out GM, they should be allowed to go bankrupt. I left a comment to the effect that GM’s engineering teams and institutional memory should be put to work for President-elect Obama’s new energy economy — building light rail, high-speed rail, and electric city cars, generating plants, wind turbines etc — thinking different(ly) about mobility and energy. Twice, the comment was deleted.

Does Harvard hate trains? It seems so.

Your ball, Mr. Greenspun.

The Canada Post Project Takes Shape This Week by ajkandy
November 9, 2008, 7:33 pm
Filed under: griffintown

Canada Post Plant / Projet Griffintown map

The abandoned Canada Post Sorting Plant at the bottom of Guy Street is a key part of what happens to Griffintown, alongside Devimco’s shopping centre project. It’s slated to become mostly residential, from everything I’ve heard, with a good component of affordable housing mixed in. (We had originally assumed that this was to be the site of Projet Griffintown itself, hence our original presentation back in September 2007 at Pecha Kucha Montreal.)

If you bike or jog along the Lachine Canal you’ve undoubtedly noticed the plant — a massive structure clad in blue siding, with a few solar heating panels up top, and rather extensive green space and a parking lot on its west side. The site is big enough to encompass an entire residential neighborhood, and the plan has always been, apparently, to open up some of the basins along the canal to create a Dutch-style, dense development along the waterfront. (I have a rough plan of my own that I knocked out in Photoshop some time back, but I’ll publish that next weekend, after I’ve seen what they’ve done.)

The open house is at the plant itself, 1500 Ottawa Street, for a few days this week:

  • Wednesday, November 12th, from 2pm to 8pm;
  • Thursday, November 13th, from 4pm to 8pm;
  • Saturday, November 15th, from 12 noon to 5pm. 
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