“District Griffin” Begins…

Good friend, Factotum, has some pictures of the first phase of this absurd degradation of one of Montreal’s most fascinating neighborhoods.  If anything distinguishes Montreal from other North American cities, it is our older architecture and unique off the grid layout of some districts. We used to be the “Paris of North America”,  but it looks like City Hall and it’s developer buddies would prefer we become the “Atlanta of Canada”. This is no way to handle heritage or enhance a great city, it’s the way you become mediocre. And Time will bear this out indeed.

“In accordance with both municipal zoning regulations and the Programme particulier d’urbanisme, Phase 1 of District Griffin will feature 1,375 residential units, including affordable social and family housing, as well as a 150‐room hotel, 200,000 square feet of office space and 130,000 square feet of business space.

Phase 1 of District Griffin will be made up of four blocks, bordered by Wellington Street to the north, Shannon Street to the east, the Lachine Canal to the west and Smith Street to the south, along the railway viaduct. Its development will require no expropriations.
The work will begin in the block formed by Wellington, Young, Peel and Smith Streets, where a 19‐storey residential tower and the hotel will be built. The two first floors of the two buildings will house local businesses, a daycare centre, restaurants, a spa and a physical fitness centre. The hotel tower will also include five floors of offices and twelve floors of hotel rooms. The residential building will offer 166 condominiums, including affordable housing, shared over 17 floors, with a rooftop recreation area that includes a swimming pool.
“Our residential project will be of interest to young people and families who will appreciate living close to the Lachine Canal, the prestigious future entrance to the Quartier Bonaventure, downtown and Old Montreal. We will offer 31⁄2, 41⁄2 and 51⁄2 units at prices varying between $250,000 to $750,000,” said Mr. Cholette.”

Affordable housing?

“Irony -  Formerly the offices of Atwill Morin, experts in masonry restoration”

Sad.  But the truth is Gerald Tremblay is simply our version of Rob Ford. Weird times.

More pictures at Flickr and at Factotum’s Photo Blog.

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5 responses to ““District Griffin” Begins…

  1. This is bad. The condofication of this area is going to completely ruin the astounding view of the city from the canal.

  2. I know, now from the canal you will get to see people’s living rooms. Totally bad planning with nothing but the greed of the city and developers behind it. I would say it was an astonishing case of poor planning except we live in a city that built it’s hockey arena on the tracks in front of a classic heritage train station that everyone would like to now see revitalized as we stand on the verge of what is supposed to be a new era in public transportation. Will Montreal completely miss the boat? We had possibilities that cities the world over would drool over and we just continue to blow it.

  3. Im down for the rejuvenation of such a poop area. I think the developers could only come out as the bad guys in this particular case but the buildings are kind of nice…and its about time Griffintown had some commerce invigorated in it.

    Its time to move forward people, the whole place isnt being torn down completely, just infused with some much-needed life.

    If you love griffintown so much then youd be happy with all the progress in the area.

  4. I do love Griffintown and can think of many ways to invigorate it without a sweeping slash and burn of it’s cultural character. Remember that this is a city that built it’s hockey arena in front of a historic, and much needed, train station. It also lost it’s baseball team because it decided to build one of the city’s most boring neighborhoods where a downtown stadium would have been perfect.
    You have to keep in mind that architecture and development are not necessarily the same thing, that City Hall and corruption are not necessarily opposing forces, and that older neighborhoods offer unlimited potential that new ones will never acquire.

  5. interesting comments and I agree with the atrocious development record this city has.

    I’m intrigued to know (i.e. examples) about what you mean by ”the unlimited potential” the older neighbourhoods offer.

    In my opinion, this development is a great infusion of new and older in an area that desperately needed it.

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