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What Montreal's Sainte-Catherine Street Should Look Like

A world where there are no cars and a lot of trees.
What Montreal's Sainte-Catherine Street Should Look Like

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St. Catherine street needs, and is getting, a major redesign. That much is for sure and agreed upon by everyone in the city. Less unanimous is exactly how the street should be restructured, with opinions differing on whether changes should benefit cars, pedestrians, public transit, or vendors. Quebec's renowned, and surprisingly young, architect Jérôme Lapierre has shared his thoughts on how St. Catherine should be re-imagined, and we're on board.

Taking inspiration from cities around the world, Lapierre outlines his project to restructure St. Catherine street, which would be completed in several phases. Lapierre notes that a gradual transformation would make for an easier transition, and also allow for ongoing data collection, so as to inform the reconstruction as it goes on.

Aside from the process of construction itself, Lapierre notes several key features that will be needed in order to make the St. Catherine street remodel a success. Summarizing Lapierre's thoughts, here are his essential criteria for a the remodel:

  • A changing plan: as stated, Lapierre believes the end-goal should not be fully defined, so as to allow for more flexibility as the project continues.
  • Designated bike path: to promote the Bixi service and greener forms of transportation.
  • High quality walkway materials: road walked on by citizens must be pleasing to the senses and have an air of grandeur, to actually make people want to walk on it.
  • Plants & Trees: a mix of vegetation should occupy the street to make it more visually dynamic and also aid in hotter climates (e.g. shade when super sunny)
  • Street furniture: high quality benches and other forms of streetside furniture should be used, which Lapierre believes will encourage pedestrians to stay in the area and promote a sense of comfort.
  • Renovate local architecture: by making the street-facing facades of houses and buildings more pleasing to the eye, a better overall public space will be created.
  • More housing: with more people actually living on St. Catherines, there will be more overall activity during all hours and there will be a more "homey" atmosphere on the street.

Lapierre has more than words to get his conception across, with the architect having created a visual representation of what he would see St. Catherine street becoming in the future. Check out Lapierre's hypothetical re-imagining of St. Cats below.

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Be sure to head over to Lapierre's official website to read all of his thoughts and ideas on St. Catherine street's future.

Looking for more? Click here for the Plan To Give St. Catherine Street Heated Sidewalks > 

For more on all things Montreal, follow Michael on Twitter @MDAlimonte 

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