After much deliberation, it’s confirmed: the old Montreal Children’s Hospital at Atwater and Renée-Levesque will be demolished in favour of a multi-use development project which will see six new high-rises between 20-32 stories high added to the downtown skyline.
In addition to condos and apartments, the towers will include a much-needed community centre, storefronts on the ground level, and social housing units. Furthermore the project promises a public park as part of the projected facelift- another element that the area is desperately lacking. In fact, the Montreal Gazette reported in December that 30% of the project will be dedicated to creating green space, while 15-18% of the residential units will be affordable housing.
This news comes nearly a year and a half after the reopening of nearby Cabot Square, which definitely would have topped the Top 5 Seediest Parkettes in Montreal list prior to refurbishment. While the changes made to Cabot Square are a drastic improvement, they don’t necessarily add an exceptional amount of greenery to the area. It’s no wonder that this time around, community residents are wary of enhancing the concrete jungle of the Western downtown core, with one 45-year resident postulating that due to the sheer height of the towers “the look of the area is going to change, the parks are going to be dwarfed” (iHeartRadio).
Cred: Core Gravel
The project has a lot of potential to contribute to the neighbourhood and provide affordable community housing to those in need, while revamping a corner of downtown that has fallen a bit to shambles. Yet the idea of these six (!!) sky high structures imposing in an already crowded area is daunting for existing residents. In any case, demolition of the existing buildings will likely only begin in June. It’s too early to say whether the hopes and/or fears of those directly involved will come to fruition although one thing is certain- the area is about to change drastically and permanently.
Cred: Montreal Gazette