Les Bassins Begins

The project in Griffintown has begun in earnest with the start of the demolition of the old Canada Post processing plant.
It is a 760 million dollar guestimate which means this baby will probably go over a billion. Do you get the feeling that the Tremblay administration just HAD to have a billion dollar residential project in the city? Scary stuff, considering the enormous costs of infrastructure repair and renewal desperately needed across the island, let alone the Metros and Trolleys and Trams, Oh My! situation.

Here is the web site, Les Bessins. And here is a critique of the project. Personally, I am once again questioning the wisdom of allowing one project to define a whole area, being, of course, one of the weirdos who prefers to see the city grow in a more organic manner.
Took a walk around the site the other day.
Parking lot getting overgrown.
But I did see various people suntanning and picnicking and just stretching out.
Demolition has begun.
I was a regular bike path user along the canal from 1981-1995 and most of the changes have been fairly positive over all. One of the things I always loved about this site was how incredibly unobtrusive the plant was – it had a very clean and efficient look to it. The views of downtown from along that stretch are gorgeous. But all that will change as the new project calls for a bunch of blocks that look to be at least 6 floors high with some much taller buildings included. Bye Bye View.

5 responses to “Les Bassins Begins

  1. What I find objectionable in the Bassins project is that 20-story condo towers will be constructed on public land held by Canada Lands.

    That being said, the social and community aspect of the project are attractive. The idea is to create a densely populated space for large families in an urban setting. It’s a kind of an experiment – it could be a nightmare but it also could have some advantages. Large units for families are very rare in Montreal. Green space will be conserved and children’s parks added. In fact, I’m planning on applying for the units in the social part. The commercial spaces for local “social economy” actors are also interesting.

    I’m no fan of Tremblay, but I have to say that I don’t think he had anything to do with getting this project passed more quickly for the elections. It’s been in the works since 1998, and a lot of local groups have been pushing for it’s realization.

  2. You are quite right, not Tremblay’s baby, but he will probably point to it as a sign of progress during his term in the upcoming campaign. I wonder what this project will be like in terms of access to the canal? There will be tons of people going by from Spring to Fall and it might not be quite so private on ground level as some may think. So how do you balance “neighborhood” with local commerce that will surely want a lot of through traffic?

    Yea , it is an experiment. I really hope it works because that potentially useful land of the former rail yards west of Peel got turned in to one of the dullest neighborhoods in the city.

  3. “(Tremblay) will probably point to it as a sign of progress during his term in the upcoming campaign.”

    I think he would claim credit for the sun coming up in the morning if he thought he could get away with it!

  4. Nice demolition shots.
    I’m for this development. The Canada Post building was no gem, and the new residential ‘hood will actually open up more public spaces along the canal. It also has some pretty cool eco-design, like a pond that filters rainwater rather just dumping it in the sewer system.

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