Save Griffintown!

Meeting tonight: The Committee for the Sustainable Redevelopment of Griffintown by ajkandy

by A.J. Kandy

Last night’s public council meeting at the Mairie Sud-Ouest was informative, even if it was largely procedural. Griffintown figured into nearly every audience question, there were some revealing answers, some so-so explanations tendered as to why this was kicked down to the borough level instead of running through the Office de Consultations Publiques de Montréal — it appeared to be a way to expropriate some land in order to widen Wellington, and also (as borough mayor Jacqueline Montpetit admitted) it’s for political reasons. If nothing else, it’s to take the heat off Mayor Tremblay.

The public consultation schedule was announced – a series of sessions starting Feb 21st, 7pm at the ETS which will likely be capped sometime in early March; a very compressed schedule that will then get passed to the City in order to be approved.

That said, the Plan Particulier D’urbanisme, or PPU, is not specifically linked to Devimco’s plan, so if we as citizens can have some influence on modifying the PPU to specifically address the many troubling issues, so much the better. The city, and the developer, need to know that we’re all for redevelopment, but it has to be done the right way, and that we’re watching everything they do.

So — in order to mount proper counterproposals within this narrow window of time, and to represent the interests of a diverse number of citizens and groups, a new umbrella organization’s being launched tonight with a brainstorming session. We at Save Griffintown have been invited to lend our “citizen urbanist” perspectives, and all interested citizens and groups are invited to participate. Details below:

• • •

Comité pour le sain redéveloppement de Griffintown
Committee for the Sustainable Redevelopment of Griffintown

Réunion publique : Mercredi le 6 février, à 19h00
au 741 rue des Seigneurs (au nord de St. Jacques)

Le Comité pour le sain redéveloppement de Griffintown tiendra une réunion publique ouverte à tous ceux qui se sentent intéressés ou concernés par le redéveloppement de ce quartier historique. Nous souhaitons connaître votre opinion, alors que nous nous préparons pour les consultations publiques qui auront lieu à la fin février.



Open meeting: Wednesday, February 6th, 7:00 P.M.
741 des Seigneurs (just north of St. Jacques)

The Committee for the Sustainable Redevelopment of Griffintown is having a public meeting for those interested in the redevelopment of this historic neighbourhood. We want to hear your opinions as we prepare for the public consultations at the end of February.


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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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Our vision by ajkandy
November 22, 2007, 5:26 pm
Filed under: griffintown, Live Presentations, Urbanism

Our proposal for Village Griffintown

This is the Photoshopped image we created for our Pecha Kucha Night presentation on the Village Griffintown project, which also forms part of this blog’s header graphics. Based on an image of the actual Dix30 shopping centre, we added in elements of Old Montreal, the Atwater Market, Bonsecours Market and Complexe Guy-Favreau to create a typical Montreal retail street with apartments and offices above shops. It’s meant to suggest a development that is in keeping with the heritage of the area, providing increased retail / residential density, while retaining a pedestrian-friendly feel and “eyes on the street.”

James Howard Kunstler: The Tragedy of Suburbia by ajkandy
September 25, 2007, 1:20 pm
Filed under: authors, books, Live Presentations, Urbanism, youtube

Author James Howard Kunstler is one of the most perceptive observers of the urban condition on the planet. His books The Geography of Nowhere, Home from Nowhere and The City In Mind contain the most thought-provoking writing about contemporary architecture and urbanism since Tom Wolfe’s From Bauhaus to Our House, in my opinion.

Kunstler’s brash ex-Manhattanite take on the pitfalls of post-WWII suburbia and the emptiness of modernist architecture is vital, refreshing, funny, honest, and necessary. More than anything, his presentation at the 2005 TED conference (video linked above) served as inspiration for us to take action in our own neighborhood.

He’s got a TypePad blog, and there’s a diverse collection of broadsides, architectural criticisms, paintings, photos of the ‘Eyesore of the Month’, and a newsletter about his adopted town of Saratoga Springs, NY at his lo-tech but appealing website, His next book is a novel set in the post-oil Northeast, entitled “World Made By Hand,” due out from the Atlantic Press in March 2008.

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Pecha Kucha Night #2 – The Aftermath by steph
September 18, 2007, 11:29 pm
Filed under: Events, Live Presentations, Pecha Kucha

Tonight’s second edition of Pecha Kucha Montreal showcased a fascinating array of topics, from Jerome Pasquero’s discussion of the sense of touch in technology, to Maroussia Lévesque’s sobering presentation on her Passage Oublié interactive art project at Pearson Airport.

After rescuing AJ from a queue somewhere offstage, we kicked off version 1.0 of our presentation on Griffintown and the proposed plans to build a big-box mall near the edge of the canal. Though we were slightly nervous, we quickly found our rhythm; the audience nodded and laughed in all the right places. The reactions and comments afterwards were positive and encouraging, including my favourite —”You put the living fear of God into us!”

We owe much gratitude to the following friends and individuals for their help, support and willingness to let us poach their photos for our slides:

We’d also like to thank Zura for beta-testing our presentation, and most especially for the rosé and Di Saronno that propelled our weekend work sessions.

We’ll be linking to a video of tonight’s event as soon as we have it. In the meantime, we’ll be adapting our presentation into a longer and meatier format for the web, complete with narration (not unlike a sausage, if done by the BBC.)

Congratulations again to Boris and the entire Pecha Kucha team for a great lineup and an enlightening evening!