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June 26, 2019

Winning ecological project for Montreal will be a model for future cities



As reported in the Montreal Gazette, a municipal works yard squeezed in-between the Bonaventure Expressway and the Lachine Canal will be transformed into an example of what an ecological city of the future would be like.

On Tuesday, Mayor Valérie Plante announced the winner of a competition sponsored by Reinventing Cities, a global initiative to encourage sustainable real-estate developments on underused sites in 14 cities from Auckland, New Zealand to Oslo, Norway.

The winning design, Demain Montréal, backed by real-estate firm Ivanhoë Cambridge, builder Pomerleau and real-estate manager Cogir, proposes a carbon-positive wood-structure highrise complex with 250 mixed-income housing units and co-working spaces for the site at 987 de la Commune St. W. It will include an indoor farm in the basement that will produce 423,200 kilograms of food annually, beehives on the roof, a “souk” (public market) for events featuring zero-waste grocery stores and restaurants, and an orchard.

Skyscrapers constructed of cross-laminated timber (CLT) — large, prefabricated wood panels — have a significantly lower carbon footprint and are much lighter than concrete buildings.

The project will encourage active transportation like walking and cycling and enable rainwater to be collected and reused. The triple-glazed windows will be limited to 35 per cent of outside walls to prevent heat loss and integrated louvres will save energy by deflecting sunlight.

“What is interesting about this project is that we are offering the land, and clearly the geographic location is exceptional, really very beautiful, with fantastic advantages. But we said, ‘You must offer us something incredible that will meet the criteria for sustainable development and be integrated into the urban fabric in an exemplary way,’ ” Plante said to journalists at a press conference in an annex of the Pointe-à-Callières Museum.

Executive-committee chairperson Benoît Dorais said the city will sell the 9,000-metre property (about the size of one and a quarter football fields) to the developer for nearly $4.3 million to build the project. If it has not been completed within four years, ownership will revert to the city.

Keep reading in the Montreal Gazette


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