Montreal's Lachine Canal Could See A Big Transformation In The Years Ahead
The plan is called Lachine Canal 4.0.
The city has launched a plan to revamp the land surrounding Montreal's Lachine Canal by making it a bigger destination for businesses and investment. That could mean transformative change is on the way for the three boroughs around the famous waterway. Officials have dubbed the plan Lachine Canal 4.0.
It has four goals: to make the former industrial sites along the canal "the destination of choice for businesses in the creative and cultural industries, light manufacturing, medical technology, optics-photonics, transportation and advanced logistics;" to "enhance the economic attractiveness of the area;" to "unite" the boroughs of the Sud-Ouest, LaSalle and Lachine under a common "vision" for the area; and "provide the territory with a distinctive identity on a metropolitan scale."
The city is calling Lachine Canal 4.0 a "flagship project" for the Grand Sud-Ouest of Montreal Island. Montreal Executive Committee Member Responsible for Economic Development Luc Rabouin cites the six million square feet of former industrial space around the canal and its "tremendous development potential."
"We strongly believe that Lachine Canal 4.0 will act as a positive vector of transformation for our sectors to be consolidated or redeveloped around this immense urban park," Sud-Ouest Borough Mayor Benoit Dorais added in a press release. "Marked for a long time by heavy industry, these sectors can more than ever welcome light manufacturing and businesses or organizations working in the fields of culture, creation or new technologies."
The plan already has its own website, which outlines the canal's advantages for businesses and potential investors. It highlights two projects that are already underway: the Quartier Whiskey, which aims to transform the Seagram distillery into an office, retail and restaurant destination, and Les Atelier Cabots, poised to turn the abandoned Canadian Power Boat Corporation site into an office complex for artists and food distribution companies.
Parks Canada, which manages the Lachine Canal and its banks, is one of the city's partners in Lachine Canal 4.0, but it remains to be seen if any changes could be coming to the recreational space around the waterway, itself.