- Mayor Plante has announced that a new Montreal neighbourhood will rise up on the site of the old Hippodrome.
- The project will include new public space, social and affordable housing units.
As part of Mayor Valérie Plante's vision for a carbon-neutral Montreal, her administration is investing in another huge undertaking that is set to revitalize a long-forgotten plot of land in Montreal's West End: a new neighbourhood.
You might remember that at the beginning of summer, Mayor Plante and Justin Trudeau announced funding for the Grand Parc de l'Ouest, a massive park that will be 8 times the size of New York City's Central Park. Since then, Montreal's mayor has been quite busy.
Last week, she hosted both legendary Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki and 16-year old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg at Montreal's climate strike. The event attracted 500,000 people and was the largest protest in the history of Quebec.
After giving Thunberg the keys to the city and outlining her action plan for Montreal to meet its climate goals, the mayor was at it again this afternoon, announcing the Namur-Hippodrome project. This new development will see a large scale carbon-neutral neighbourhood spring up on the former site of the Hippodrome horse racing track, a 43-hectare site off Décarie Highway 40.
The mayor says the project will include 6,000 housing units.
The Hippodrome, or the Blue Bonnets Racecourse for you Boomers, operated for more than a century.
During its heyday in the 1970s, the Hippodrome would see tens of thousands of spectators every weekend. It was closed in 2009 and has since hosted some concerts, country fairs, and not much else.
The City of Montreal bought the property in 2017 and is in the process of demolishing most of the buildings in the area.
Along with housing, the new development will include public spaces, schools, daycares, businesses, and local services — all contained within the neighbourhood.
According to Radio-Canada, the ambitious project will be under consultation by the Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM) in order to determine its feasibility.
Along with energy-efficient architecture, the neighbourhood will include self-sustaining stormwater management.
The Hippodrome now stands and an empty lot, full of opportunity that the City of Montreal hopes it can harness.
The project will also include a revitalization of the area around Namur metro station in order to maximize the advantages of public transportation and what the mayor calls "sustainable mobility."
While there are no concrete plans or designs as of yet, the city hopes to proceed with consultations as soon as possible.
Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting and ambitious new neighbourhood!