Save Griffintown!

On the Eve of St. Patrick’s … some Comments From Citizens by ajkandy

Here’s the first batch of a selected sampling of comments from people who’ve signed the Griffintown petition, asking for a proper, democratic oversight process instead of a “fait accompli.”

To sign the petition, click here.

Please forward the petition URL to friends and family — this St. Patrick’s Day, let them know that a big piece of Irish-Canadian history is set to be erased forever.


Le project Griffintown aurait un effet global sur la ville de Montréal et il faut l’analyser comme partie eventuelle du métropole.

— Kate McDonnell, editor, Montreal City Weblog

Griffintown is at the core of Montreal’s history. The proposed project does not reflect the scale and history of Griffintown and therefore is not in the best interest of the community. An alternate project which takes into account these two factors would receive popular support. It is the duty of the City of Montreal to ensure that an acceptable project defines the next 100 years of Griffintown history.

— Jeffrey Dungen, a resident of the Lowney Lofts

Montreal does not need another retail shopping area in this part of the city with yet more branches of the same-old, same-old retail outlets. The neighbourhood should fit into an overall plan for the whole city. I think a mixed-use neighbourhood should be a goal, with up-to-date small and medium-sized local businesses supporting the unique residential character of this well-positioned urban neighbourhood. Montreal-of-the-future could be a city of neighbourhoods each with a distinctive flavour – like Paris, NYC, Toronto.

— Daphne Mitchell

Montreal is a diverse city, full of energy and beauty. I would be very sad to see Montreal lose its charm because the city of Montreal is desperate for taxes. Any future proposals should be put to public consultation and have a very clear design and be able to address the issues of the future. The current project ignores the human scale and only promotes the automobile. This is outmoded and irresponsible.

— Clint Lewis

I am one of the many artists who rent studio space in Griffintown, and I worry about the lack of consultation in developing this historic neighbourhood.

— Margaret Griffin

While revitalization is essential and much needed in the Sud-Ouest borough, the “Bassins Peel” represents an area that is monumental to Montreal heritage and history. I judge, given the long standing heritage and tradition associated with this area, that there is no reason why a precautionary protocol consultation process should not be followed. In other words, there is no reason why the consultation process should exclude the OCPM. Whether it is their jurisdiction or not, the area is monumental to all Montrealers and a standard protocol fair consultation should be practiced to reflect Montrealers’ point of view.

— Jonathan Auger, student in Urban Planning, Concordia University

This area of the city has long been neglected and, given its historic roots, the incredible potential for development is undeniable. I fully support new developments: condos, mixed-use and commercial. But let’s ensure that these maximize the area’s historic structures and create a liveable vibrant community.

— Sophie Lorenzo, Senior Editor, Parkhurst Publishing

Do people visit London, Paris or even Quebec City for poor planning and non-descript condo buildings? No, they visit these cities (and many others) thanks to the abundance of historical buildings that create an ambience that is difficult to recreate with modern structures. Rather than preserve buildings and districts, this city wants to tear them down. When will our elected politicians realize the importance of our built heritage?

— Eliot Perrin, contributor to the McGill Daily

Although I don’t live in the area, as an Irish Canadian I have extreme concerns about destroying what’s left of the Celtic heritage of Griffintown.

— Joseph Donnelly

Save Griffintown! We would be losing so much and gaining so little from all of this nonsense.

— Lukas Glickman

There is a huge amount of empty space in that district that can be built on. The very few streets remaining with original Griffintown buildings, residents and businesses do NOT need to be razed. If the developer insists on having one massive empty space to build on before building anything, somebody should give him directions to Mirabel.

— Louis Rastelli, magazine publisher and author of the novel A Fine Ending

L’idée de faire cadeau de tout un quartier à un seul entrepreneur privé est profondement anti-démocratique. En plus, Montréal a aucune besoin d’avoir des magazins de grand surface au centre-ville: ils sont déjà assez pire dans le banlieux. Je ne suis pas contre toute développement, mais ça devrait être à l’échelle humaine.

— Patrick Hutchinson

You know when the Parc Avenue crisis happened, I asked the mayor to his face at City Hall, in front of the entire council and opposition, the following question: “What will you do to ensure a fair and democratic public consultation process for future municipal developments?” I also proposed he set forth a motion to redesign the terms and conditions of modern-day “Public Consultation”, and make these accessible for all to know their rights in order to avoid future confrontations of this sort, and implicate Montreal’s people where they are concerned most: in their own backyards! Mayor Tremblay replied that my idea was a good one, and that the executive council would get to work right away on a new mandate that could benefit all, not least because of the public transparency with which the matter would be treated. My proposition was supported additionally by Marvin Rotrand. What is happening in Griffintown clearly demonstrates that Mayor Tremblay did not keep his word, and worse, may have in fact lied to me. I am appalled and personally insulted. But it’s nothing compared with what Griffintown residents must be going through. Let’s stick it to the city again!

— Alison Louder, actress and organizer of the Park Avenue name change counter-petition

Changes of this dimension should be put to a referendum and several options should be investigated. The City is not handling this in a democratic manner. They are looking at this as almost a “fait accompli” and showing some “great project” without analyzing the human aspect or the economic losses to downtown for the economic gain of the developers and additional taxes to the City coffers. The historical factor of the area also has to be taken into consideration. Where are you Phyllis Lambert? We need your input and the input of like-minded people. Zoning changes should not be undertaken before conditional approvals are given and public consultations have been held. The benefits need to be fully evaluated. New area redevelopment should not be done at the expense of another existing one offering the same retail choices. Public low-income housing is a must in this project along with other apartments condos, offices and retail outlets. Unfortunately, they may be looking at an income generating project for the developers. So many other things need to be considered.

— Lyna Boushel

Notre belle ville de Montréal a une histoire écrite par les humains qui l’ont créée, et cette histoire se vit à travers les bâtiments qu’ils ont construit. Respectons cela, entre autres à Griffintown qui mérite mieux que des consultations hâtives pour être développé dans le respect du passé …

— Renee Wathelet

Le projet griffintown est un PPP (partenariat publique-privé) en planification urbaine. On devraient laisser les fonctionaires de la ville faire leur job – planifier pour le bien commun – au lieu de les sous-traiter aux promoteurs privés. Oui aux consultations véritablement démocratiques!

— Mélanie Ménard

I’m very disconcerted to see how the city of Montreal has gone about their plans to develop Griffintown. Allowing limited public input, and very quietly trying to grant one contracting group the privilege of developing this area is a stain on the administration’s record. I might add that their previous development of Quartier DIX30 is an eyesore in itself. Furthermore, the city of Montreal should ensure organic development in Griffintown that protects historical sites, and also ensures much greater pedestrian access, with more public transportation and less vehicle circulation. The current attempt at greenwashing and portraying their plans as environmentally friendly are sad, as their plans seem only likely to attract great amounts of vehicles to the downtown area.

— Tyler Palov

J’ajoute mon nom à cette pétition pour que Griffintown ne soit pas redéveloppé en un quartier commerciel désâmé et sans joie, auquel on aura greffé quelques logements à prix modique pour ‘faire bien’. Et puis, avons-nous besoin d’un autre centre commercial à Montréal, avec les mêmes boutiques et magasins? Eh bien non! Avez-vous visité le village au pied du Mont Tremblant? Une horreur! Vous êtes passé au Dix30? Un truc complètement inhumain qui ne correspond ni au climat Québécois ni aux besoins des habitants de la grande région métropolitaine! Et on laisse ce type de développeur dicter ce qu’un quartier appelé à devenir important à Montréal devrait devenir? Trêve aux faits accomplis et oui à un processus de consultation démocratique et transparent qui soit géré non par Devimco, mais par un groupe indépendant. Un bon quartier, c’est un environnement vivant, organique, original. Pas un truc parachuté de la tête d’un groupe de personnes qui s’intéressent avant tout au ‘bottom line’!

— Lysanne Larose

M. le Maire, ne repetez pas les debacles comme L’Overdale de Doré ou votre experience avec Parc Avenue… Consultez et soyez pratique et democratique!

— Ian Rogers

Let us all take a deep breath and get this right for once. What’s the hurry with a recession around the corner anyway?

— Bryan Soares

Can we raze the Olympic Stadium instead?

— James Manila

I just love this neighbourhood and I wish it could stay intact.

— Karine Fournier


More comments from citizens tomorrow!

Once again…to sign the petition, click here.