Bonjour à tous,
Archive for the ‘Public Consulatations’ Category
Dear friends of the Griffintown Horse Palace Foundation,
The Office of public consultation of Montreal has undertaken a very promising process that gives residents and other stakeholders a say on the future development of Griffintown. To this end, a symposium took place on January 20 and 21rst to debate alternative futures for the neighbourhood, and allow residents to express their views. The Griffintown Horse Palace met the public at its stand, which featured the trailer of Nadine Gomez’s film on Leo Leonard and the Horse Palace, as well as Scrapped, a life-size monument to a horse, made of recycled materials by artist Jane Zdansky. In the presentations and debates that followed, authorities on architectural preservation such as Phyllis Lambert and David Hanna asserted publicly the importance of preserving this unique historic site and its usage.
A desire for a mixed-use neighbourhood was expressed by many stakeholders, in which residential buildings interweave with street level shops and pocket parks in a fine-grained urban fabric. The Griffintown Horse Palace Foundation’s goal is true to the growing realization that a real neighbourhood must offer more than condominium units. Renovating the stables and opening them to the public will offer a distinctive experience in the midst of the city.
Following our increased visibility at the symposium, last week the Foundation met the City of Montreal urban planning department, and a real estate developer interested in buying the property, to discuss partnership possibilities.
On Monday the 13th, the Foundation will present its memoir at the public hearings on the future of Griffintown. We warmly invite you to attend: February 13th, 8:30 pm, Office de Consultation Publique de Montréal – 1550 rue Metcalfe – 14e étage.
In the meantime, please have a look at our new website: www.griffintownhorsepalace.com
Thank you for your support, it really makes a difference in keeping our enthusiasm and passion alive.
The Griffiontown Horse Palace Foundation Board
Kind of symbolic to say the least.
Le Ministère lancera une nouvelle consultation en ligne
Du 7 au 29 février 2012, le Ministère tiendra une consultation publique en ligne pour obtenir l’avis de la population sur l’aménagement de terrains résiduels du secteur Côte-Saint-Paul. Il sera possible d’y participer en visitant le site Internet du Projet Turcot ou encore en consultant directement le site de la consultation : www.consultationcotestpaul.com (en ligne mardi le 7 février, 16h). Plusieurs options vous seront proposées pour ces aménagements. Nous vous invitons donc à nous donner votre opinion en allant voter en ligne!
La consultation en ligne s’accompagnera d’une soirée portes ouvertes le 7 février 2012, de 16 h à 20 h, au Centre récréatif, culturel et sportif Saint-Zotique (situé au 75, square Sir-Georges-Étienne-Cartier, à Montréal, au local 123). Il vous sera alors possible de rencontrer des gens du Ministère qui sauront répondre à vos questions, en plus de voter sur place pour vos options d’aménagements favoris.
N’hésitez pas à venir y participer, il nous fera plaisir de vous rencontrer!
Very regrettably, I was unable to attend last night’s rendez vous with citizens and the government in Saint Henri, but I will post some things that I find such as this article in Westmount Watch.
On Monday evening Jan. 31, 2011, at the St. Zotique Cultural, Sports, and Recreation Centre in St. Henri, bureaucrats from the Ministry of Transport of Quebec (MTQ) faced a storm of citizen anger about the MTQ’s Turcot transport project.
“Our government is raping us now,” said Natasha Alexandrov of Point St. Charles, to the applause of more than 400 people crammed in the centre’s gymnasium.
Amid Disney-like illustrations spread on the gym walls by MTQ personnel, Mme. Alexandrov summed up the feelings of residents about the $3 billion dollars of public money spent to bring huge amounts of car traffic down to the very street level of neighbourhoods in the South West borough.
“You are destroying – to build something that no one wants,” she told the grim-faced civil servants sitting at a front table . “We see people in Tunisia and Egypt saying NO,” she added. “I thought this was a place where we could say NO.”
And she added: “Someone must be putting money in their pockets.” (more…)
The Office de Consultation Publique de Montreal (OCPM) has offically released it’s findings on the Bonaventure project and has concluded that there is not a whole lot to like about the project. While this is great news for Griffintown, it is important to see how the designers of the plan, the SHM (Societe du Havre de Montreal), will react. Will they basically ignore these findings (as the city of Montreal has a lush history of doing) and go ahead with something ridiculous like insisting that the Dalhousie Corridor be a rush hour only infringement on the city? Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail and they go back to the drawing board and come up with something that actually ties in with other current transportation plans around the city and especially in the downtown core and does not rip apart a reviving heritage neighborhood.
And the report is here (French only).
He likes it so much there will be no public consultations on a project that had one very questionable bidder. Yet another project has become so perverse that you really have to wonder just what is the real payoff here? And there should be a very strict city law that any project of a certain size or that concerns any type of heritage location should automatically go to public consultations. The key to the whole thing is to make that consultation process effective. Currently, the mayor can completely ignore the findings and push a project ahead which is particularly troublesome considering the dense history of favoritism (if not out and out corruption) over contracts and contractors in this city.
However, the good folks at the Save The Main Coalition are going to hold their own consultations “on Thursday, May 6th and are calling upon residents, artists, architects and even developers to propose ideas for how the lower main can best be redeveloped. They’re open to all types of propositions.”
In this morning’s Metro, Societe du Havre de Montreal president, Isabelle Hudron, comments that the Bonaventure project is not negotiable. Excellent timing considering that the Office de Consulatation Publique de Montreal is hearing briefs on the project again next week. Isn’t democracy wonderful?
The SHM needs to justify it’s existence, that’s understandable, but where is it written in their mandate that they are some Supreme Council that not only truly understands Montreal, but knows what is best for Montrealers, and at any cost?
Recently another questionable transportation project was announced for Windsor Station. The Dalhousie Corridor suggested by the SHM is about a 3 minute walk from the Windsor Station site. How is it possible that two major transit projects can take place besides each other without each project carefully considering the other? It’s because there is no global plan in Montreal! Are we going to build bad projects and throw the city into another 30 year debt cycle because we have given unlimited powers to people who just can’t see the big picture?
I attended the OCPM hearings on Wednesday night and while a lot of good ideas were put forth such as an alternative plan by Projet Montreal and an excellent presentation by David Hanna suggesting that the New City Gas buildings must be preserved, I was quite moved by a brief presented by Judith Bauer of Griffintown.
“Although it is what developers and city planners (or the lack thereof) seem consistently to do, I don’t believe it’s possible to reconfigure our city in a sustainable and economically viable way by giving the green light to megaprojects that are developed in isolation.
Why are these proposals presented without the context of neighbouring projects that have been approved or proposed?
Why is there no coherent plan between them all?
Why are we, the citizens who live and work here, not consulted about our needs and wishes for our community and our city prior to the long and costly development of such megaproposals?
We are here every day. We see the advantages and disadvantages of the area, we experience firsthand what works and what doesn’t, we have an insider’s view of how the various neighbourhoods integrate and could be further integrated to improve quality of life and economic health for all concerned.
Why not ask us first?!
Of course the developers and the municipality have their experts and may believe they know better but if I hire an expert to assist with remodeling my home, I first would expect them to ask me what I want, what is important to me, and second to offer proposals and solutions.
Why was the community not asked about what they want for this area prior to being presented with a project that has on several occasions been described by M. Rainville as “cannée”?
Why was Isabelle Hudon, president of the Conseil d’administration de la SHM, quoted in a September 17th press release saying:
Toute étude additionnelle qui pourrait être requise à ce stade concernant le corridor Dalhousie ne servirait qu’à obtenir un niveau de raffinement des études antérieures sans remettre en question la pertinence de ce corridor.1
If the project the SHM has presented to us is already ‘in the can’ and new input only to be used for ‘refining’ what has already been decided, what is the true value of these public consultations to the citizens and organizations participating?“
There are people who will suggest that activists such as myself are just against everything and that we are halting progress. They are usually the people who have vested interests in these projects or citizens who have no idea how unfairly these projects are conceived and therefore see no problems. But I can guarantee you that you would simply not tolerate this totalitarian approach were it planned for your neighborhood. It’s time we all started caring a little more.
PS I attended a meeting at the New City Gas buildings last night and I simply have to say that these are probably the most amazing 19th century buildings left in the city that are still in a well preserved state. You have to see the inside to believe it. The complex is a “jewel in the crown” of Montreal architecture and could be a wonderful starting point for a truly inspiring rehabilitation of Griffintown.
The Office de Consultation Publique de Montreal is now hearing depositions from people concerned about the Bonaventure project. Projet Montreal will present a brief Wednesday, January 13 at roughly 7:30 pm. Address is
Office de consultation publique de Montréal, 1550 rue Metcalfe, bureau 1414
The hearings will continue on January 18 and 19.
In the general blaze of activity of other things I managed to forget mentioning the public consultations on the Bonaventure/Dalhousie Corridor project Tuesday night. Round 2 is tonight.
24 11 09 Les consultations publiques commencent ce soir / Public consultations begin tonight – 19h, Cathédrale Marie-Reine-du-Monde, 1110 rue Mansfield .
Gazette review of Round 1 here.
Have to say these public consultations have moved quite a ways from kitchen tables, community centres, and coffee shops.
It is beginning to look like the BAPE (Bureau d’audience publiques sur l’environnement) hearings last June, with over 100 groups discussing the project, 85% against, will lead to some changes in the Turcot project.
Government has to make the BAPE report public tomorrow.
What a week! It started off quietly with not many people expressing a whole lot of optimism about the upcoming public hearings. But a funny thing happened on the way to the BAPE. The Mayor of Montreal and the two other candidates for mayor showed up asking that the Turcot project be rethought. Then the Parti Quebecois decided to turn up the heat on Jean Charest and all of a sudden we got ourselves a pretty serious movement! Add to that that the week was full of a rich diversity of groups from the South West and well beyond, all with very well organized and articulated briefs, and you have a powerful recipe for success. This has just been wonderful to witness, and I am very happy for all the people who have worked so hard and had the courage to keep going when things did not look too good.
The South West will be a stronger place no matter what happens now and it has been great to see some before now unlikely networking happening. There has been a lot of cross borough talk at the grassroots level, a lot of common ground covered so to speak. Let’s hope it stays that way.
Very conspicuous by their absence was the superhospital folks up on the Glen, but then again, there ain’t no hospital being built there yet!
One political veteran told me it was like the turning point in an election campaign where you can actually feel the momentum shift and that is exactly what happened here this week. Something changed. Stay tuned.
The Turcot edition of the BAPE concludes Friday afternoon.
Both appeared at the BAPE yesterday and Harel emphasized that no residential buildings should be turned down while Tremblay stressed the importance of there not being any private investors on the project. All good. Richard Bergeron of Project Montreal will get a turn too, though it should be said that Bergeron has been attending community meetings regarding the Turcot Issues pretty much from the beginning.
Information Meeting on the McGill Mega-Hospital (MUHC): Thursday January 29th at 7pm.
As you probably know, the MUHC signed a partnership agreement with the Interneighbourhood Coalition (CIQ) in 2004. The CIQ includes groups from Westmount, NDG and St Henri. In that agreement, the MUHC agreed to work with neighbourhood groups to maximize the positive effects of the arrival of the hospital in the surrounding neighbourhoods. The Interneighbourhood Coalition is presenting their work over the past few years at this information session, with an important recent update.
Place: St Raymond’s Community Centre, 5600 Upper Lachine Road (Metro: Vendome): http://tinyurl.com/a2jpp7
Public Consultation Meeting regarding zoning changes for the St Élisabeth de Portugal Housing project on the site of the former church. 815 rue Bel Air as of 7pm. Several things to be discussed including 1) the nature of the housing (affordable (?) condos and affordable (?) rental units for families, 2) health concerns re highway and air pollution (where does city’s responsibility lie?), 3) impact on the neighborhood (height, architecture, services, etc). Info: 514 872-1950