Save Griffintown!

Phyllis Lambert & Experts Holding Press Conference on Griffintown Right Now by ajkandy
April 15, 2008, 10:45 am
Filed under: Committee for Sustainable Redevelopment, Events, griffintown, media, news

From PR Newswire — Today’s press conference involving the Committee for the Sustainable Redevelopment of Griffintown, Phyllis Lambert and several architecture and urban planning experts. Happening NOW.


Montreal, April 14, 2008 — Phyllis Lambert and Gérard Beaudet, well known for their articulate positions on the future of Montréal, will be speaking tomorrow at a press conference organized by the Committee for the Sustainable Redevelopment of Griffintown (CSRG).

Both experts will be voicing their opposition to the hasty public consultation process put in place by the Southwest Borough (Arrondissement du Sud-Ouest) to study the Special Planning Program (SPP) which could affect a major sector of Griffintown. Phyllis Lambert and Gérard Beaudet deplore the municipal authorities’ lack of vision and agree that the SPP should be referred to the Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM).

Vicente Perez, from the Coalition de la Petite Bourgogne, will also be present and Christopher Gobeil, spokesperson for CSRG, will preside over the Press Conference. A number of representatives from the professional associations, among them André Bourassa, president of the Québec Order of Architectes, will be in attendance.

Date: Tuesday, April 15 2008, 11am

Place: Darling Foundry, 745 Ottawa Street, Montréal

For more detailed information, please write to or call (514) 875-7644.


The press release will be available on the CSRG website immediately following the press conference.


We made the cover! by ajkandy
March 20, 2008, 2:13 pm
Filed under: griffintown, interviews, media, news

Montreal Mirror, March 20, 2008

Click the image to read the cover story by Mirror news editor Patrick Lejtenyi. (That’s me on the left, standing next to Chris and Judith Gobeil and their dog Andy.)

Fresh horses!* Griffintown hearings continue tonight, set to go all week by ajkandy

The comments-and-briefs-submitting period of the Griffintown consultation process kicks off tonight at 7pm, and with the huge number of respondents set to offer their views, I estimate that instead of wrapping it up in one or two nights, it could stretch to the end of the week or further. Now’s the time to get your word in, or simply observe the process.

The Committee for the Sustainable Redevelopment of Griffintown will be presenting second-up this evening. They’ll be submitting a brief including both a written critique of the proposal, as well as a vision statement for a more sustainable, organically developed and locally-focused community. The brief will be available on their blog after this evening, I believe.

The Committee’s also going to stage a press conference at 6:15 PM in front of the ETS, and will be bringing a calèche and horse to underline the importance of the Griffintown Horse Palace as a living legacy of the area’s Victorian industrial past. They’ll also be asking attendees to sign their petition asking for a better, more democratic process for the Griffintown project.

In other news, I was photographed, along with Chris and Judith Gobeil (and their dog, Andy) down at Saint Ann’s Park, with the Five Roses sign in the background, for the cover of the Montreal Mirror. The story’s being expanded so it’ll appear the week of the 20th.

Chris was also interviewed on CBC’s Radio Noon today, helping to explain how we are yes-for-dense-development, but no-on-oversized-shopping-centres. is also working on a more in-depth story for their online news division.

See you at the ETS tonight!

*A random, but appropriate quote from Brian Blessed as King Richard, in the first series of Blackadder.

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Audio from last week’s interview on 940 News by ajkandy
February 20, 2008, 6:27 pm
Filed under: audio, interviews, media

by AJ Kandy

Here’s the MP3 of the interview with yours truly and Chris Gobeil. (I never realized I said “it’s like” and “you know” so much. Note to self.)


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James Howard Kunstler + Urban Issues on CBC’s Sunday Edition by ajkandy
February 17, 2008, 10:40 am
Filed under: James Howard Kunstler, media, Urbanism

by A.J. Kandy

Tuned in to the CBC this morning to catch the last part of an interview with urbanist/author/gadfly James Howard Kunstler, on an episode of Sunday Edition devoted to exploring city issues. Kunstler brought up his greatest hits — peak oil, urban vs. suburban design, how we’re going to have to live in the future, how people confuse technology with energy. His new novel, The World Made By Hand, about life in Upstate New York in a post-oil future, is now shipping.

Also featured: an interview with the 30-year mayor of Mississauga (who frankly sounded occasionally clueless about the issues the interviewer brought up) touting the fact that dense condo towers seemed to be desirable in her city, vs decades of single-family-home suburban sprawl. She did make the emininently sensible claim (echoing Kunstler, albeit inadvertently) that the federal government needs to reinvest in passenger rail in a big way.

I’m not sure when it’ll be rebroadcast, but the show should be available as a podcast soon here.

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On News 940 radio with Natasha Hall today at noon by ajkandy
February 10, 2008, 10:36 am
Filed under: Committee for Sustainable Redevelopment, griffintown, interviews, media

by A.J. Kandy

Yours truly, along with Chris Gobeil of the Committee for the Sustainable Redevelopment of Griffintown, will be interviewed for News 940 AM’s new show What’s Up, Montreal? today between noon and 1pm. I’ll post a link to an audio file if/when it becomes available. The show is hosted by Natasha Hall, a Montreal Gazette contributing writer and winner of the News 940 “Talk Show Idol” contest.

It’s a call-in show, so take a minute or two to express your opinion. Do be polite and keep it on-topic. You can call in at the following numbers:

Local: 514-790-0006
Toll-free: 1-877-760-0006
Cell phone: #940 for Bell cell phone subscribers

You can also listen in via their website, Click on the ‘listen live’ link in the left-hand menu.

More news and op-ed by ajkandy
February 7, 2008, 11:58 am
Filed under: media, news, op-ed

by A.J. Kandy

The Gazette’s Jason Magder interviews Chris Gobeil and yours truly for a short piece on the need for alternative plans for Griffintown. He also reports on a proposal from an American company that specializes in medical tourism (wha?) to set up a private luxury hospital-spa-hotel at the eastern edge of the site.

Henry Aubin has another op-ed piece, Griffintown: We must do it right.

Griffintown News Roundup, Feb 6th by ajkandy
February 6, 2008, 9:39 am
Filed under: blogosphere, Devimco, griffintown, media, news, op-ed

La Presse:

University of Montreal professor, architect, urbanist and historian Jean-Claude Marsan writes an opinion piece: Montreal deserves better:

Le projet de Griffintown, mis de l’avant par le Groupe Devimco qui a réalisé le centre commercial Dix30 à Brossard, repose sur un concept abstrait, une idée importée, plus précisément de la Floride et de la Californie, lieu de naissance du Life Style Center. Ce nouveau modèle de centre commercial favorise un style de vie basé sur l’utilisation de l’automobile et la consommation globalisante, regroupant dans un même lieu la plupart des marques commerciales existantes en Amérique […] il demeure essentiellement un produit de banlieue dont il conserve toutes les caractéristiques. Nous sommes bien loin des «rues principales» d’arrondissements telles que celles du Plateau-Mont-Royal, de Côte-des-Neiges, Notre-Dame-de-Grâce ou d’Outremont, de ces artères commerciales qui s’avèrent des lieux de découverte, de socialisation et de convivialité.

The Gazette:

Reporter Jason Magder summarizes last night’s borough council public meeting:
Griffintown consultations open to everyone, borough promises

City columnist Henry Aubin points out the city’s contradictory aims in trying to relieve pollution and traffic congestion, while simultaneously pushing forward redevelopment projects that will collectively add something like 10,000 parking spaces, in How to get more people to live downtown without their cars.

Spacing Montreal:

Blogger and CBC Radio reporter Misha Warbanski has a piece on the air today, and blogged two pieces, one summarizing the borough council meeting, and another mentioning the Committee for Sustainable Redevelopment open brainstorming session this evening.

Henry Aubin: Tread carefully on Griffintown by ajkandy
January 17, 2008, 11:59 am
Filed under: media, op-ed

Gazette city columnist Henry Aubin returns to the topic of Griffintown in today’s opinion piece. According to Aubin, the pros include development of a very neglected area of town, a shot in the arm of over $1.3 billion; it would be Kyoto-friendly by reducing urban sprawl, encouraging rail transit development, and using LEED building standards.

The cons include a possible negative effect on Sainte Catherine Street’s retail and nightlife, “boring, semi-uniform architectural design” due to the fact there aren’t multiple firms involved, plus serious questions of fairness; patronage (George Bossé used to work for the mayor; standard review processes short-circuited on purpose; the possibility of expropriations freezing out not only homeowners and landowners but other developers. Plus there’s the site’s proximity to the yet-to-be-developed Canada Post site; the entire ensemble needs to be balanced carefully.

Full opinion piece at The Gazette.

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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