Notre-Dame-de-Grâce is on a mission to transform Montreal's iconic Empress Theatre into a modern, less-dilapidated version of itself.
Last month, the borough launched online public consultations and invited Montrealers to share ideas on how to transform the vacant theatre into a multi-use facility with residential, commercial, and cultural components.
It received 27 proposals from private citizens, community groups, an architectural firm and a group of potential investors with a business plan, which were revealed during a virtual meeting on December 10.
About 60% of respondents want the elegant building — built in 1927 by Confederation Amusement Ltd., as a venue for soirées of burlesque, cabaret, and cinema — to have a designated space for performances.
Over 30% want a portion of the building to be turned into office space.
Other suggestions include a library, micro-brewery, café, pop-up market, daycare, and an African-Caribbean cultural centre.
A number of respondents want the roof to be transformed into an urban agricultural space, terrace or walking path.
Renderings from Le Borgne Rizk Architecture’s proposal, called Heritage Empress, suggests constructing an all-new modern residential building.
Respondents also threw out a number of ideas for what kind of weekly programming they’d like at the centre, from meditation and mindfulness activities to a ukulele orchestra.
Suggested names for the new Empress include: Empress de Grâce, Nouveau Cinéma 5, The Empress Market, InterNDG, La Place Gaie/The Gay Place, and others.
Residents are now being invited to give their feedback on the proposals and the name of the future building. To have your say, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.