SNOWDON - Projet Montréal has outlined its proposals for developing the former racetrack into a green urban community.
On Oct. 29 2012, Gérald Tremblay and Michael Applebaum, who was then chair of Montreal’s executive committee, announced an ambitious 5-year urban planning project that would eventually result in a new neighbourhood of 5,000 to 8,000 housing units, to be preceded by an international design competition. But Tremblay resigned a week later on Nov. 5.
Projet Montréal wants to move forward more quickly by avoiding the “unplanned development” that characterized the Triangle project. “There’s a clean slate, an opportunity to build a new modern, integrated and green community,” said Michael Simkin, candidate for CDN-NDG mayor.
Richard Bergeron’s party wants to retain the 22,000 residents who leave Montreal annually for the suburbs by building a community that emphasizes diversity in both housing stock and businesses, with easy access to services and facilities like local schools.
Bergeron wants a neighbourhood that will better serve the needs of young families, as in Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie, with more 3-bedroom houses, condos, rental units, housing coops, non-profit buildings and social housing suitable for a dense urban environment, not a few hundred single-family houses.
Projet Montréal Snowdon candidate Sarah Gutman promises that a goal of 20% affordable housing and 20% social housing will be rigourously pursued.
“We’re focussed on providing space for small and medium-sized businesses, independent companies, and local social economy groups. For a project of this scale it’s important to set percentage targets. If we only get ready-made condos and Wal-Marts, TD banks and Starbucks, we’ve got a problem of excluding everything that supports the local social economy,” explained Simkin.
The Cavendish-Cavendish link dilemma
Projet Montréal wants a showcase sustainable-development community, but Simkin says there’s a risk if the project is too quickly approved, as Équipe Mélanie Joly recently proposed. “It’s a great idea that would improve things for public transit, cycling and pedestrians. But do we want cars taking this route instead of using the north-south routes that we already have? It depends. Experience tells us that this would just increase the number of cars, not decrease traffic congestion,” he warned.