Some Lachine residents want to see industrial land north of the canal and east of 6th Ave. turned into an environmentally-friendly neighbourhood.

On Saturday, they met to discuss ideas and options for the 60-hectare space. 

Eventually, it’ll be home to thousands of residents. 

“It’s close to the city,” said borough mayor Maja Vodanovic. “It’s 15 minutes to the city and 10 minutes to the airport.”

Some see it as a chance to be progressive and build an eco-district.

“We really would like this to be an example that other people look at in the future when they’re developing neighbourhoods in Montreal or surrounding areas to say, ‘Wow, we need to do it the way Lachine did it,’” said Kate Luthie of the community group Imagine Lachine East. 

Experts were on hand at Saturday’s meeting to field questions. 

Many residents want to see parks, residential units, and schools, as well as public transit.

They also want it to run on geothermal energy. 

“We’ll try to develop a neighbourhood where everybody is going to walk, use their bike, or take public transportation and go downtown,” said Charles Grenier, who’s also with Imagine Lachine East. 

Vodanovic knows that it will take cooperation with other levels of government and the private sector for the concept to become a reality. 

“They need us for the infrastructure, so they need us on board,” she said. “They can’t do anything unless we put about $30 million of infrastructure, so they’ve got to dance with us. We want to dance with them, so let’s do the best thing possible.”

An open meeting is scheduled for April with Montreal’s Public Consultations Office.