Public gets first chance to examine plan for former Montreal Children's Hospital
Published Tuesday, February 21, 2017 11:09PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, February 22, 2017 9:16AM EST
Two months after Montreal city council approved the project, the public had its first real look at the plan to redevelop the site of the former Montreal Children's Hospital.
The Devimco/Fiera Capital/FTQ plan calls for six high-rise buildings ranging from 20 to 32 stories at the corner of René Levesque Blvd and Atwater Ave.
Those towers will house 600 condominium units, 600 apartments for rent, and dozens of social housing units.
"We're quite happy and proud about that, almost 175 units in a tower of 20 stories," said Brian Fahey of Devimco.
The towers will also include a community centre, stores, and could include a library.
"In the middle of the towers there's going to be open green space accessible for everybody," said the urban planner overseeing the project
There is also the possibility of building a school on the site, although that would require eliminating the park that sits on the northwest corner.
City councillor Steve Shanahan is quite happy with the proposal.
"This is great. It's going to have a community centre and how many years have people in western downtown been asking for a community centre?" he said rhetorically.
The hospital itself will be torn down, with only the original nurses' residence remaining.
Environmental activist Daniel Green said that will require extensive monitoring since asbestos is used throughout the structure.
"There has to be a clear understanding that if people are exposed to this carcinogen the demolition has to be stopped quickly," said Green.
The residence also has asbestos and so its renovation will require careful abatement.
"86 per cent of sample showed asbestos-positive," said Green.
A woman who has lived in the area for 45 years, but wished to remain anonymous, said she was shocked by the scale of the buildings.
"The look of the area is going to change the parks are going to be dwarfed," she said. "It's completely changing."
Fahey agreed, but said the consultations give people a chance to learn about the project and offer feedback.
"We still believe that consultation tonight will help us improve the project and help us have a better project at the end of the day," said Fahey.
Shanahan said he believes that changes will be made.
"We're going to listen to the citizens and we'll see what we can do about the heights," said the councillor.
The next step is a submission of opinion on March 20.
If everything goes according to plan, demolition will begin in June.