Where will the artists go as Old Montreal Develops?

February 26, 2013

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If the proposed renewal project of Montreal goes through as is, the artists on Rue Saint-Amable who are now struggling to move onto Place Jacques Cartier will have to move again. That was one of the concerns raised during the first phase of the public consultation into a renewal plan for Old Montreal. Phase two of the consultation, in which citizens present written briefs took place earlier this week.

“I’m a caricaturist in Old Montreal and this is my 30th year this year and I’ve seen lots of changes,” said Yves Dufresne on the evening of January 29. “I’m also a member of a heritage committee that’s dealing with the loss of exposition space on Rue Saint-Amable. Are there other plans for Place St. Quartier that will conflict with us?”

Dufresne’s concern was just one of many moments that emphasized the differing visions of Old Montreal held by developers, residents, tourists, artists, commercial businesses and others.

“When does all this become too much?” asked one resident of the neighbourhood. “Are there limits to densification?”

“The market will decide when there are too many condos,” said another. “We have to realize that there’s an enormous amount of empty space for building there.”

“Residents can’t always pay $10 for a loaf of bread,” said another. “They need a regular grocery store like everyone else.”

“I’m concerned about the noise from all these musicians everywhere,” said another woman. “I don’t mind having them in the square but do they need to go everywhere?”

“What’s going to happen to our neighbourhood when all the development right next door takes place?” asked another woman during an earlier question period. “There’s going to be a new hospital nearby. There’s lots of condos going in in the Fourbourg next store. Shouldn’t we wait to see how these things affect us before we decide what to do next?”

Phase two of the public consultation process on Monday night and continued Tuesday afternoon and evening. In this phase, citizens presented written briefs to commissioners.

For the first time, the entire consultation has been webcast and is available on the Office de consultation publique de Montréal’s website at http://ocpm.qc.ca.

The site also contains webcasts of three forums that took place in January.

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Tracey Arial

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Tracey Arial

Tracey Arial helps Canadians grow with notable nonfiction and urban agriculture.

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