If the goal with the Montreal Children's development is to attract families to downtown Montreal, then the condo units for sale should include affordable housing with multiple bedrooms.

Several presenters made that argument Monday evening on the first of three days of public hearings into the development planned for the site of the former Montreal Children's Hospital.

The project calls for six high rise buildings between 20 and 32 storeys tall, with 600 condominiums, 600 apartments for rent, and about 170 social housing units.

The project manager's Brian Fahey of Devimco, is also planning to revamp the existing nurses' residence and turn it into a community centre, possibly with a library.

One possibility is adding another building to the square that would be used for a school.

Stephanie Richard, on the governing board of St. Leon de Westmount, liked that idea.

She said there is an urgent need for another French-language school in the region.

"We've had to close a library, we've had to close some of the classes, we had to reorganize the school and also send a portion of our population to another school in an annex in St. Henri, so it's pretty critical at this stage to get a school as soon as possible," said Richard.

Heritage Montreal also presented a brief Monday evening, stating its concern about the impact of the towers on the neighbourhood.

Dinu Bumbaru said the high rise buildings will overpower the park, and the neighbouring and recently redesigned Cabot Square.

"It's going to turn the square into just a piece of grass in front of tall skyscrapers. It's going to intrude in the great views," said Bumbaru.

"The city is investing a lot of money at Cedar and Cote des Neiges, at Belvedere, that will be blocked by these towers."

Heritage Montreal asked Devimco and the other developers to preserve some of the art deco-style buildings at the hospital.

Twenty-three individuals and groups have signed up to present briefs this week.

The public consultation committee is expected to release its report in several months.