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2021

Resolution 2021-01 on Downtown Montreal  

Given the importance of downtown Montreal, which some experts consider to be a strategic sector for the economic development of the metropolitan area and of Quebec more generally; 

 Given the high concentration of buildings and heritage sites downtown – old or recent, recognized by statute or not, from Old Montreal to the mountain, and from the Latin Quarter to Cabot Square, and given its major contribution to the identity and attractiveness of the heart of the metropolis; 

Given the complex challenges of maintaining, requalifying and enhancing the heritage of this area’s commercial, institutional and residential spaces, illustrated by cases such as those of the Saint-Sulpice library, Eaton’s Ninth Floor Restaurant, Loew’s cinema, the Hudson Bay store, the Grand Seminary, the Mount Stephen House, the Riga Apartments, the Fulford Residence, and St. George’s Church, and given what we have learned from development of the Alcan House or the transformation of the former home of the Gray Nuns by Concordia University; 

Given the major infrastructure rehabilitation work undertaken on Saint Catherine Street, the arrival of new stations from the West via the REM to the central train station and to McGill College Avenue, and the concerted efforts invested in mitigating their potential negative impacts and benefiting from their arrival in order to improve the layout and attractiveness of the city center; 

  Given the major impacts of the pandemic, foreseen and observed, on the patronage of the downtown area, on its commercial fabric, and, more generally, on its vitality as part of Montreal’s identity, and given the work going into its revival, including the Action plan to strengthen downtown Montreal as part of the “Relançons MTL” operation of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal and its partners; 

 

The General Assembly of Heritage Montreal 

  • Asks the public authorities of Montreal,at the city and provincial levels,to recognize the city center as a priority sector for recovery after the pandemic; 
  • Calls for the heritage of the city center to be recognized as an asset for recovery, for it to be endowed with support mechanisms to accelerate investment there, and for specific expertise to accompany strategies, programs and projects, bothin the short term and in thefuture; 
  • Favourably receivesthe Action Plan proposed by Relançons MTL for the establishment of a mixed investment fund intended for the requalification of heritage buildings; 

And offers the collaboration of Heritage Montreal in consultations and work to this end. 

Resolution 2021-02 on Heights and Densities 

Given the accelerated rate of demolitions and cases of facadism resulting from a conception of urban development and densification too often based on the built volume and on high-rise constructions to the detriment of heritage, the urban landscape, and the identity of the city and its neighbourhoods;  

Given the long-awaited update of the Montreal urban plan adopted in 1992 and then partially modified in 2004 following municipal reform as well as Montreal’s objectives in terms of sustainable development and ecological transition; 

 Given the example of density on a human scale that constitutes authentic Montreal neighbourhoods, which deserves to be highlighted as a model and used in the development of plans for the creation of new neighbourhoods, including eco-neighbourhoods; 

Given the numerous interventions and proposals of Heritage Montreal over the past decades for the consolidation of existing neighbourhoods in order to counter urban sprawl and avoid the deterioration of heritage, to optimize collective investments, and to enrich the urban landscape with relevant projects and quality; 

 

The General Assembly of Heritage Montreal requests that the City of Montreal 

  • Specially recognize the value of the built heritage and the urban landscape in its policies, strategies and projects in terms of ecological transition and sustainable urban development; 
  • Adopt, in consultation withcommunity members and the organizations concerned, an operational definition of density and densification objectives which take into account the heritage and the urban landscape and ensure their preservation, revitalization and enhancement by relevant interventions of high quality; 
  • Carry out a concerted public assessment of the densification measures adopted previously, in particular the revision of the height and density framework in the city center following the public consultation carried out by the OCPM in 2011; 
  • Establish patrimonial impact assessment practices inspired by the work of the Commission for Cultural Property of Quebec and ICOMOS for programs, policies and projects both public and private, as well as putting in place mechanisms for monitoring and improvement using its Heritage Council; 

And offers the collaboration of Heritage Montreal to this end. 

Resolution 2021-03 on the Eastern REM 

Given the presentation in December 2020 by the Caisse de dépôt et de placement (CDPQ), of a proposal to extend the Metropolitan Express Network (REM) to link the east of Montreal to downtown in response to issues of long neglected accessibility; 

Given that this proposal includes a route largely composed of an aerial structure, particularly in the city center and in the Mercier – Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough where this poses significant issues of development and heritage impact, some of which are linked to national designations under the Cultural Heritage Act; 

Given the just and courageous efforts of town planners Sandy van Ginkel and Blanche Lemco 60 years ago when they prevented the construction of an aerial expressway through Old Montreal, which would have irremediably damaged it, both in its integrity as well as in its historical relationship with the river, and given the considerable investments of the public authorities and the CDPQ to repair the urban rupture resulting from the passage of the Ville-Marie highway, in particular with the creation of Montreal’s International Quarter; 

Given the impacts of the Western REM on heritage and on urban development, and in particular its brutal crossing of the Lachine Canal, an element of the city’s heritage that is well known and well recognized, and given that this happened despite the formation of an architecture and urban integration advisory committee with which Heritage Montreal agreed in good faith to participate; 

 

The General Assembly of Heritage Montreal 

  • Supports the principle of a substantial and rapid improvement in the public transport offeredlinking theEast to the center and to other sectors of Montreal; 
  • Deems inadmissible the proposal to install the REM aerially, in particular in the city center and in the Mercier – Hochelaga-Maisonneuve borough, given itsdestructuringand devaluing effect on the territory and its heritage; 
  • Asks the Government of Quebec and the City of Montreal to review the proposed route,eliminatingthe aerial segment in the city center, and implementing alternative scenarios diligently; 

 

And offers the collaboration of Heritage Montreal to this end. 

Resolution 2021-04 on Trusts and Transitional Strategies for Buildings and Heritage Complexes 

Given the growing number of buildings and heritage complexes constituting public or institutional property that are disused or in the process of becoming disused – for example, the Saint-Sulpice library, the former Hôtel-Dieu, the Royal Victoria and Miséricorde hospitals, and the Institute for the Deaf, which are threatened by degradation, or even by demolition resulting from this degraded state; 

Given the previous resolutions of the General Assembly on institutional complexes, on project development practices, and on incentives for private investment in heritage building requalification projects; 

Given the reflections and recent experiences arising from the Heritage Action Plan of the City of Montreal, particularly in terms of transitional urban planning as seen with the Young project and, now, the work around the former convent and orchard of the religious hospital order of Saint Joseph at Hôtel-Dieu, as well as the work and representation carried out by Heritage Montréal and other organizations to maintain the integrity and cleanliness of the Royal Victoria site; 

Given the experiences in matters of social utility trusts and land trusts for built heritage elsewhere in Quebec, in North America or in Europe, such as the Fiducie du patrimoine culturel des Augustines, or the Ontario Heritage Trust; 

 

The General Assembly of Heritage Montreal asks for       

  • The adoption of strategies for secure storage (“mothballing”) and transitional use of disused heritage buildings to ensure that their integrity will be maintained while more sustainable revitalization projects are developed andimplemented;
  • The establishment of a metropolitan heritage trust endowed with adequate financial, legal and professional resources,as well asa consultation and monitoring mechanism to support these efforts; 

  

And offers the collaboration of Heritage Montreal to this end. 

Resolution 2021-05 on Montreal’s Chinatown 

Given the importance of Montreal’s Chinatown, one of the oldest in Canada, via its historical, architectural, urban and social heritage, its role in attracting settlers dating back to the early days of Ville-Marie and the 18th century, and its association with Montreal’s communities of Irish, Scottish, Jewish and, of course, Chinese origin; 

Given the pressures that Chinatown and its heritage have been under for decades from public and private promoters and their projects (for example, the Guy-Favreau Complex, the Convention Centre, the Swatow Plaza, and the tower under construction at the entrance to the neighbourhood), the loss of several heritage buildings including the Robillard building destroyed by fire in 2016 as well as the current actions of developers and speculators; 

Given the community’s formation of a Chinatown Working Group following the authorization of certain real estate projects and the recent consultation carried out by the borough to provide the district with an action plan; 

Given how little specific recognition within a regulatory framework exists for the identity and heritage of Chinatown, and the absence of protection for the area, except for the Chinese Catholic Church of the Holy Spirit, classified a protected area in 1977 by the Government of Quebec; 

Given the urgent requests to the Minister of Culture and Communications of Quebec by Heritage Montreal on April 28, 2021 for the historic classification of the former British and Canadian School (currently Wing’s Noodle Ltd.) as well as its request to the Mayor of Montreal for the creation a heritage designation for Chinatown and other requests for the rapid application of the Quebec Cultural Heritage Act in aid of this area; 

 

The General Assembly of Heritage Montreal 

  • Ratifies the organization’s urgent requests for the listing of the British and Canadian School and the establishment of a heritage site for Chinatown under the Cultural HeritageAct;
  • Supports the participation of Heritage Montreal insuchinitiatives, particularly those of the City of Montreal and the Ministry of Culture, in order to act quickly to safeguard and protect Chinatown and its architectural heritage as well as its social fabric and authentic community in the face of the pressures and threats to which they are subjected; 
  • Requests that transitional measures be quickly put in place by the City of Montreal, includingviathe exercise of its powers and the resumption of status attribution within the framework of the Cultural Heritage Act in concert with its Heritage Council in order to prevent the harmful effects of real estate speculation on Chinatown and, more generally, on the built, urban and social heritage of the metropolitan area; 

  

And offers the collaboration of Heritage Montreal to this end. 

2019

RESOLUTION 2019-01 ON URBAN PLANNING

 

Considering that the City of Montreal has launched the process and engaged the resources necessary to renew its Master Plan, dating from 1992 and 2004, along with consultations on a vision of the future that will address topics including dynamic, inclusive neighbourhoods, mobility and sustainable development, green transition, and the influence of Montreal’s new status as a metropolis;

 

In view of the opportunities afforded by these initiatives for revitalization of the city’s great heritage ensembles, such as its institutional complexes, industrial sites, commercial arteries as well as areas such as the east end and the central part of the island and the neighbourhoods of the Sud-Ouest;

 

Given that these initiatives are a unique opportunity to reflect on the challenges involved in reconciling approaches to densification and mobility, as well as urban projects like the “écoquartiers,” with existing built and landscape heritage and the other elements of authenticity of the neighbourhoods of the city that contribute to its identity and to its quality of life;

 

Given the lessons to be learned from situations such as the rapid reconstruction of Griffintown, the debates around the Royalmount project, and the processes underway for changes to the eastern sector of Lachine, Pointe du Moulin, and the CBC/Radio-Canada and Faubourgs sites;

 

Heritage Montreal reiterates the following principles adopted in 2018 concerning a Master Plan for the 21st century:

 

  • The city and its neighbourhoods constitute an ensemble, a real landscape that is inhabited and endowed with social meaning and values, both of which are embodied in its built forms and uses;

 

  • The built, landscape, urban and natural heritage mark the Identity of Montreal and its neighbourhoods, and must be protected, enhanced and enriched by contemporary projects of quality;

 

  • The Master Plan is a social compact that provides the overarching vision necessary for planning and for human and economic development in the city and its neighbourhoods, and for the coherence of its policies, projects and programs;

 

  • The Plan must be complemented by tables de concertation, by financial strategies, transitional, informational and educational projects;

 

  • The Plan must be implemented through means that are credible, transparent and accessible, both for the general public and those who are active in the milieu via biennial forums.

 

Heritage Montreal asks that:

 

  • The Master Plan renewal devote great attention to built, landscape, urban and natural heritage and to the issues related to its conservation, revitalization and enhancement;

 

  • The Plan include measures that are effective and that will ensure the recognition and the conservation of Montreal’s neighbourhoods in all their authenticity;

 

  • The Plan be accompanied by evaluation and updating of the role, composition and formation of the Comités consultatifs d’urbanisme (CCUs) along with tools such as heritage studies, statements of heritage interest, site planning and architectural integration programs (PIIAs), special planning programs (PPUs), and special building, renovation, alteration or occupancy projects (PPCMOIs); and

 

  • The future Master Plan be guaranteed the necessary authority to ensure coherence between the city’s urban development and its sector policies, regulatory tools, and investment programs through the use of an informed, effective public mechanism which would track this coherence annually.

 

Heritage Montreal offers its collaboration to the City of Montreal to those ends.

 

 

RESOLUTION 2019-02 ON FAÇADISM IN MONTRÉAL

 

Considering the proliferation, in the city and its neighbourhoods, of public as well as private renovation projects and particularly those which imply densification and that exert pressure on built heritage—often reducing its conservation to retaining the principal façades or a few architectural fragments , even in protected areas;

 

Considering that this issue has been the subject of thinking both here and abroad – for example, at the 1999 ICOMOS Façadism and Urban Identity conference held in Paris -and the recommendations of the Montreal Heritage Council in its 2018 activity report;

 

Heritage Montreal asks that the City of Montreal develop and incorporate into its Master Plan a Heritage Charter, founded on the maintenance of heritage buildings’ integrity, including, as a last resort, criteria governing the admissibility, evaluation and acceptability of proposals to preserve only portions or fragments of heritage buildings or ensembles.

 

Heritage Montreal offers its collaboration to that end.

 

 

RESOLUTION 2019-03 ON HERITAGE INTERIORS

 

Considering the heritage, artistic and social interest of the many interiors of institutional, religious, commercial, residential, and industrial buildings (both older and more recent) in the city and its neighbourhoods, and the vulnerability of that heritage to the demands of building codes, change of use, and urban densification;

 

Given that there is limited knowledge of this major component of the city’s built heritage, that only a few interiors benefit from special status or measures that ensure their protection; examples include the 9th floor restaurant in the former Eaton’s store, classified in 2000 at the request of Heritage Montreal, the Mount Stephen Club and the Château Dufresne, as well as certain heritage movie theatres including the Impérial, the Rialto, and the Outremont;

 

Considering the powers now available to municipalities including the City of Montreal, under the Cultural Heritage Act, to recognize and protect heritage interiors, as well as the studies conducted regarding strategies and tools for that purpose;

 

Heritage Montreal asks that the question of heritage interiors be recognized in urban planning tools and in the Heritage Action Plan; that inventories be created and studies conducted, and, as applicable, published; and that tools be implemented to ensure that heritage interiors are taken into account when authorizing renovation, repurposing and revitalization projects involving built heritage, and the attribution of funding for such projects.

 

Heritage Montreal offers its collaboration to the relevant authorities and institutions to those ends.

 

 

RESOLUTION 2019-04 ON HERITAGE SECURITY

 

Considering the many cases of loss of or damage to built, landscape and archeological heritage caused by natural, climate-related or accidental catastrophic events, such as the spring flooding of recent years, acts of vandalism committed on vacant buildings and monuments, or the tragic fire that destroyed the roof of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris on April 15, 2019, which have often compounded the difficult ordeals that these situations represent in the lives of individuals and communities;

 

Given the recent thinking at the local, city, national and international levels regarding the inclusion of heritage in plans and training that target risk and disaster mitigation, most recently the international workshop of the ICOMOS Scientific Committee on Risk Preparedness (ICORP), held at the Faculté d’aménagement of Université de Montréal  on heritage security in metropolitan areas, in which the experiences of the Montreal Metropolitan Community, New York City, Ottawa, Paris, and Sydney were shared, highlighting the importance of a shared culture of prevention as well as sustained collaboration among heritage stakeholders, scientific communities, and emergency management authorities;

 

Heritage Montreal asks that:

 

  • Built, landscape and archeological heritage be recognized in civil defence and emergency preparedness plans, in the responsibilities of fire and civil security departments, and in emergency response protocols, and subsequently, aid programs for post-disaster reconstruction and recovery programs for people, organizations and communities;

 

  • A report on the vulnerability and safety of heritage in the city and its neighbourhoods—vacant and vulnerable buildings, fires, technological accidents, natural disasters, weather events, vandalism, etc.—be compiled and kept up to date by those responsible for fire departments and heritage, with co-operation from the academic sector, community groups, and fire and police personnel;

 

  • Inventories and databases of heritage buildings and ensembles, identifying their significant components and potential vulnerabilities, be created, kept up to date, and incorporated into civil security plans, into documents to be made available to fire stations and emergency vehicles, into development plans, as well as into awareness and funding programs for prevention, response, reconstruction, and recovery in the event of damage or disaster;

 

  • Personnel responsible for heritage and such emergency plans and responses be provided with shared training on the built and landscape heritage of the city and its neighbourhoods, on the risks to which it is exposed, and on the measures planned with regard to prevention as well as emergency response.

 

Heritage Montreal offers its collaboration to the relevant authorities to those ends.

 

 

2018

Resolution 2018-01 on the upcoming Urban Master Plan for Montreal

Considering that the Master Plan is one of the primary tools for guiding and influencing, over a multi-year period, the physical, social, economic and cultural development of Montreal and its neighbourhoods, their built environment, planning, use, quality of life and territorial identity, as well as for unifying urban development with heritage and environmental values;

Considering that 2017 saw Maison Alcan, inaugurated in 1983, classified as a heritage site for its exemplary value as the realisation of a visionary urban development, and that 2017 marked the 25th anniversary of the first Montreal Master Plan, adopted under the administration of Mayor Jean Doré, whose former Executive Committee member responsible for urban planning, André Lavallée, illustrated the innovative nature of that plan’s vision and development process at an URBA lecture on March 1, 2018;

Considering that the current Master Plan, adopted in 2004, no longer reflects the territory of the City of Montreal, nor its new responsibilities resulting from, among other things, its status as a metropolis and its agreements with governments, nor the current challenges—for example, the mass of disused institutional, industrial and commercial buildings in the city centre as well as in its neighbourhoods—and must be updated to reflect those realities as well as the evolution of Montreal society and a collective maturity as illustrated by citizen consultations and initiatives as well as the emergence of new models of urban development;

Considering that the process of updating and developing the new Master Plan must be exemplary and must benefit from the necessary time, resources, expertise and the consultation and discussion necessary to create an inspiring vision of the future and a base for coherence between the tools for planning the City of Montreal, its boroughs and its neighbourhoods, and the agglomeration and the Greater Montreal area;

Heritage Montreal states the following principles concerning a Master Plan for the 21st Century for Montreal:

  • The Plan must be founded on a recognition of the fact that this city and its neighbourhoods constitute a territorial ensemble and a real landscape that is inhabited and endowed with meaning and values embodied in its built forms, past and present, and in the quality of accomplishments that have shaped, renewed and enriched it through successive generations and builders.

 

  • The Plan must acknowledge the distinctive value of the built, landscape, urban and natural heritage of Montreal and its neighbourhoods; support both the protection and enhancement of that heritage by ensuring its proper use, maintenance, revitalization and enrichment through inspiring, innovative projects; and ensure architecture of quality, all the more necessary in the case of major transformations such as densification and demolition.

 

  • The Plan must provide a global vision of planning and development for Montreal in both human and economic terms, along with a coherent, engaging platform for policies, projects and programs, at the scale of the City as well as its boroughs and neighbourhoods, and the Greater Montreal area.

 

  • The Plan must be complemented by innovative strategies and tools such as issue-based coordinating committees, land-registry and tax strategies, innovative transition and cultural-appropriation projects, measures for social awareness-raising and education, and major urban projects.

The Plan must be implemented via means that are credible, transparent and accessible, both for the general public and specialized stakeholders: for example, biennial agoras (forums) bringing together representatives of the City and its boroughs, civil society, socio-economic players, the general public, and creative people.

 

 

Resolution 2018-02 on the historic Molson Brewery complex and other heritage industrial complexes

Considering that Molson has announced its decision to relocate its brewing operations from its current site, which has been in operation since 1786, and that it has expressed a willingness to collaborate with Heritage Montreal in the repurposing of this industrial complex which has great heritage value by virtue of its history, architecture and emblematic presence in the Montreal landscape;

Considering the numerous industrial complexes and “building-machine sites” of heritage interest that are currently disused or in the process of becoming disused in Montreal; for example, Silo No. 5 and Windmill Point in the Old Port, and the former Canada Malting and Dominion Bridge facilities along Lachine Canal;

Considering that this situation poses a major challenge in terms of heritage and an even greater one in terms of urban development and revitalization, and that numerous discussions and public consultations are under way to that end, concerning, for example, the Lachine Est district, the Old Port, the Sainte-Marie neighbourhood and, more globally, the eastern part of the Island of Montreal;

Heritage Montreal asks that:

  • The project to repurpose the former Molson Brewery, a heritage complex that is emblematic of the city and its commercial and industrial history, be exemplary and inspiring to present and future generations, so that it constitutes not only a real-estate success but also, and especially, a model and a legacy worthy of the company and its place in the urban and riverfront landscape, and that a process of consultation and consensus-building be established for that purpose;

 

  • The City of Montreal, on the occasion of the project to repurpose the former Molson complex, work diligently to adopt an effective strategy for industrial heritage, its enhancement and its repurposing as part of the development of the Greater Montreal area and its neighbourhoods, taking into account the thinking on this subject which have been ongoing in Montreal since the 1983 international congress, of which Heritage Montreal was one of the organizers, but also achievements such as the repurposing of the Angus Shops, examples from other countries, and the international principles adopted by ICOMOS in 2011.

And, to those ends, offers the full collaboration of Heritage Montreal to those responsible for the project to repurpose the former Molson Brewery and to the City of Montreal.

 

 

Resolution 2018-03 on the future of institutional heritage buildings, sites and complexes in the Greater Montreal area

Considering that the institutional heritage of the Greater Montreal area, in all of its historical, functional and architectural diversity, in its often emblematic presence in the landscape and in the life of downtown and of the neighbourhoods and villages of the metropolitan area, and because of its particular relationship which links it to communities and to the public—in short, to the collective and cultural life of the metropolis—is a distinctive trait and a cornerstone of Greater Montreal’s identity and economy;

Considering the situations of many heritage buildings that are part of the health and education systems:

  • The former Montreal Children’s Hospital was sold to a developer by the Government of Québec and then almost entirely demolished to make way for a real estate project that was granted a derogation by the City of Montreal;
  • The former Royal Victoria Hospital on Mount Royal is mostly vacant, as is the former Institut des Sourdes-muettes on Rue Saint-Denis;
  • The historic Hôtel-Dieu Hospital is to be decommissioned in 2021, and demolitions were recently carried out there without a permit;
  • Many school, college and university buildings have significant heritage value (formally acknowledged only in certain cases) but also face major challenges because of lack of maintenance and the changes in the demographics of Greater Montreal and in contemporary educational standards;
  • The former Saint-Sulpice Library is still awaiting repurposing in spite of a joint announcement by the Government of Québec and the City of Montreal and a multidisciplinary architectural competition;

Considering the inspiring examples provided by the transfer by the Grey Nuns of their Mother House to Concordia University, the City of Montreal’s acquisition of the convent of the Réligieuses hospitalières de Saint-Joseph , McGill University’s study of coherent repurposing of the former Royal Victoria Hospital, and the project at the former Mother House of the Sisters of Sainte Anne, in Lachine, which is currently the subject of a public consultation;

Heritage Montreal asks that:

  • A register of the institutional heritage properties of Montreal and the Greater Montreal area (buildings and properties of the health and education systems, government and municipal buildings and properties, convents, clubs, fire stations, etc.) be created, updated and published according to an open-data model, and that communications and consultation methods be established to facilitate repurposing of such properties by means of projects consistent with the civic or community character of these buildings and sites.

 

  • Sufficient funding be established for the maintenance of these heritage properties, which, because of their high concentration in Montreal and at the Greater Montreal area, require very particular measures;

 

  • Land-registry strategies be established to ensure that these heritage properties continue to play meaningful roles in community life, employing tools such as emphyteutic leasing, separate ownership of land and buildings, tax measures, and transitional usages.

 

  • The planning instruments along with the government and municipal policies regarding sale of such properties more effectively recognise heritage character and interest, as opposed to use only, and ensure maintenance of heritage character and interest.

And, to those ends, offers the full collaboration of Heritage Montreal to municipal, governmental and institutional authorities.

 

 

Resolution 2018-04 on the future of heritage places of worship in the Greater Montreal area

Considering the high concentration of heritage places of worship in─and their importance to─the urban landscape as well as the identities of neighbourhoods and villages in the Greater Montreal area;

Considering that these places of worship and their architecture are the product of hard work by communities who invested the sum total of their talents and arts in them;

Considering the great diversity of the heritage of these buildings in terms of their religious traditions, when they were built – whether older or more recent, the populations they serve, as well as the community services they provide and the and works of art they house;

Considering the particular architectural characteristics of places of worship and the concomitant complexity involved in developing repurposing projects that will preserve, in contemporary society, the community values that prevailed at the time they were built;

Considering the concern over the future of this vast heritage given the growing number of instances of closings and even demolitions;

Considering, in addition, achievements such as the Théâtre Paradoxe in Côte Saint-Paul, and the work under way to map out more positive repurposing solutions, as is the case with the St. Jax project on Rue Sainte-Catherine, and more globally the extensive pool of expertise in this area in Greater Montreal, led by, among others, the Conseil du patrimoine religieux du Québec, created in 1995 as the result of collaborations among Montreal’s Catholic, Protestant and Jewish communities;

Heritage Montreal requests that:

  • A register of the heritage places of worship of the Greater Montreal area, creating an inventory of their heritage dimensions, including interiors, furnishings and works of art as well as sites and rites, be created, updated and shared;

 

  • A public process be established for the transfer of disused places of worship, accompanied by mechanisms that would encourage projects of quality, both in terms of their use and their architectural intervention;

 

  • A metropolitan centre of expertise be instituted in Montreal to amass knowledge and to develop strategies such as the creation of transitional trusts or the implementation of appropriate tax measures.

And, to those ends, offers the full collaboration of Heritage Montreal to municipal, governmental and institutional authorities.

2016

01. Underscoring actions with significant contributions to heritage development in Montreal and the metropolitan region

Considering the importance of certain actions taken and gestures made during the past year and their significant contributions to improving the track records of Montreal and the metropolitan community in matters of heritage, to the resolution of issues, and to fostering conditions conducive to the emergence of innovative solutions and projects that ensure the conservation and living enhancement of buildings, sites, complexes or landscapes of heritage interest in Montreal and the metropolitan region; The Annual General Meeting of the members of Heritage Montreal acknowledges and congratulates:

  • The City of Montreal, for its collaboration with the Religious Hospitallers of Saint Joseph and its plan to acquire their convent complex, including the orchards, on the Hôtel-Dieu site, as announced by Mayor Denis Coderre and the congregation’s Superior General, Sister Marie-Thérèse Laliberté, on May 16, 2016;
  • The Montreal Metropolitan Community, for organizing the Thematic Meeting on Metropolitan Areas, which acknowledged the importance of participation by civil society and the identity-building value of heritage and landscapes as elements of the sustainable development of metropolises, and enshrined that acknowledgement in the ensuing Montreal Declaration, which will be discussed at the UN Habitat III Conference in Quito, Ecuador, from October 17 to 20, 2016;
  • The Government of Quebec and the City of Montreal, for their fruitful collaboration in identifying, through a process led by Michelle Courchesne and Claude Corbo, and implementing a sustainable new purpose for the former Saint-Sulpice Library, a significant heritage building of remarkable architectural integrity, which the Minister of Culture and Communications, Hélène David, along with the Minister of Finance, Carlos Leitão, and the Mayor of Montréal, Denis Coderre, announced would be entrusted to Bibliothèque et archives nationales du Québec as a venue for heritage conservation and accessibility, and exploration of new technologies by young people;
  • The Quebec Minister of Culture and Communications, Hélène David, for issuing a notice of intent, on November 2, 2015, to classify the Maison Alcan complex, citing it as an “exemplary work of architectural integration,” “a milestone in conservation of built heritage in Quebec and Canada,” and “an example of successful densification in downtown Montreal,” and to decree a protection area covering the entire surrounding block, including the former Winter Club;
  • The Government of Canada, for its substantial increase to the budget appropriation for the Parks Canada Agency, specifically the $170 million investment announced on March 29, 2016, by Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, for repairs to the Lachine Canal, a National Historic Site of great importance, and to the other historically important canals in Quebec.

And offers the collaboration of Heritage Montreal to those authorities to follow up on these important actions benefiting heritage.

02. Regarding governance in matters of heritage and landscape protection and development

Considering certain problematic cases in the past year, including that of the vestiges of the former Village des tanneries (leather-works settlement) in Saint-Henri, which were methodically excavated and then destroyed by crews working on the government project to redesign the Turcot Interchange; the former Mount Stephen Club, a classified heritage asset that was seriously damaged as part of nonetheless authorized work; Maison Alcan, the overall avant-gardist value of which would have been damaged by a densification project; Parc Rutherford, on the Mount Royal Heritage Site, where a lighted multisport field will be built by the Borough of Ville-Marie with funds from the Government of Quebec and McGill University; and the former Montreal Works in Ahuntsic, a Second World War–era industrial heritage building that the City of Montreal has acquired, with plans to demolish it and repurpose the site; Considering the growing number of publicly and privately owned heritage buildings and sites perceived by the general public or revealed by the media as vulnerable due to the apparent disregard of heritage value in decisions affecting them, including their being offered for sale without conditions, and the strictly procedural application of the regulatory framework; Considering that the current system of heritage management and governance is too often based on a limited approach that is generally reactive, coercive, and even mistrustful toward owners, whereas it would benefit from being more proactive, dynamic, partnership-focused and preventive, focused on improving the condition of heritage via its maintenance, conservation, safe protection, development and, where needed, repurposing; Considering the urgent need for consistency, harmonization and intelligent modernization of the framework for action in heritage matters, to ensure not only effective protection but also the development and revitalization of heritage, and considering the opportunities to that end represented by the principles in the Quebec Sustainable Development Act (2006), the current process to update the 1992 Cultural Policy by the Government of Quebec, and that to update the 2005 Heritage Policy by the City of Montreal, as well as the expected reforms to the Act Respecting Land-Use Planning and Development or enactment of an act respecting the metropolis; The Annual General Meeting of the members of Heritage Montreal requests that:

  • The government, along with the metropolitan and municipal bodies, including the City and Agglomeration of Montreal, adopt a transparent, intelligent mechanism for monitoring the condition of heritage; for example, in the form of an annual summary or report with qualitative and quantitative follow-up indicators—a “Heritage Index,” produced by a competent, independent and non-partisan entity such as the Conseil du patrimoine or a cultural heritage commissioner, tasked with making recommendations;
  • These mechanisms be integrated into the culture and heritage policies and action plans of Quebec, Montreal and the cities of the metropolitan region, as well as into the current or eventual legislative framework, as concerns heritage, land-use planning and urban planning and the status of metropolis, among others, including the Charter of the City of Montreal.

And, to those ends, offers the collaboration of Heritage Montreal to the governmental, Montreal and metropolitan bodies.

03. Regarding recognition of competency and specific expertise in heritage protection and development

Considering the great diversity of buildings, sites, complexes and landscapes with recognized or potential heritage value in Montreal and in the metropolitan region, and the consequent importance of ensuring that such heritage is maintained in proper condition, from both a cultural and identity-building perspective and one of sustainable economic development; Considering the lessons that can be learned from various problematic situations such as that of the former Mount Stephen Club, in which the development of projects, their evaluation and their authorization have not properly taken into account the objective of ensuring maintenance of the physical integrity of real heritage buildings or sites, because of a failure to recognize the need for specific expertise and qualifications in heritage matters; Considering Heritage Montreal’s longstanding involvement in education and training on heritage, provided to owners as well as professionals, and our contribution to enhancing the competency of stakeholders via our home renovation and restoration courses, and our collaboration with Université de Montréal and its School of Architecture to establish Canada’s first master’s degree program in conservation of the built environment, in 1987; Considering the existence of the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada, produced by recognized experts and endorsed by all of the federal, provincial and territorial governments including Quebec’s, with a view to their application to projects involving buildings, archeological sites, landscapes and engineering works; Considering the recognition by professional organizations of certain specialized areas of expertise and specific competencies such as those relating to the principles and practices supporting sustainable development and consideration of environmental concerns; The Annual General Meeting of the members of Heritage Montreal requests that:

  • The authorities responsible for the evaluation and authorization of projects that affect or may affect the physical integrity and state of conservation of a recognized heritage building or site, or one with potential to be recognized as such, acknowledge the need for, and require, the hiring of professionals with demonstrated and up-to-date expertise in conservation, renovation, maintenance or other forms of heritage intervention;
  • Expertise in built or landscape heritage intervention be recognized as specialized areas of expertise and specific competencies in the supervisory frameworks for the professions of architect, planner, landscape architect and engineer, and that they be supported by education and skills upgrading programs.

And, to those ends, offers the collaboration of Heritage Montreal.

 

04. Regarding consideration of the impacts of public-sector projects, programs and investments on heritage and landscapes

Considering the existence in Montreal and the metropolitan region of diversified and dense built heritage including several complexes protected by order of the Government of Quebec, such as the declared Heritage Sites of Old Montreal, Mount Royal and Old La Prairie, as well as the buildings, complexes and landscapes of interest identified in planning instruments and the Metropolitan Land-Use and Development Plan (known by its French abbreviation, PMAD); Considering that significant investments are due to be made in the coming years by the governments as well as the regional and municipal administrations in Montreal and the metropolitan region, notably to correct insufficient or deferred maintenance, upgrade transportation infrastructures, and support development according to contemporary principles; Considering the principles set out in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention (1972), the 191 States Parties of which include Canada, which promotes adoption of policies that acknowledge the role of heritage in community life and incorporation of heritage protection in general planning programs; Considering the interest of experiences such as the U.S. National Historic Preservation Act (Section 106) as well as Canada’s Treasury Board Policy on Management of Real Property and Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, and the more recent but exemplary experience of voluntary incorporation by the federal government of matters relating to architectural and landscape quality (raised by, among others, members of Heritage Montreal) as part of the rebuilding of the Champlain Bridge, with mandating of architects and engineers well known for developing a mandatory design and addition of an advisory committee to oversee its completion; Considering that protection of cultural heritage, which consists of property, sites, landscapes as well as intangible elements and is a reflection of a society’s identity, is enshrined as a principle in the Sustainable Development Act, adopted in 2006 to ensure consistency of government action in Quebec; Considering the opportunity provided by the current process of updating Quebec’s and Montreal’s culture and heritage policies to ensure greater coherence among international commitments, national or local obligations, projects, and practices; The Annual General Meeting of the members of Heritage Montreal requests that:

  • Public expenditures by governments and administrations such as municipalities, school boards, and health and educational institutions be subjected to evaluation to gauge their impacts on recognized heritage buildings, sites or landscapes, or those with potential to be recognized as such;
  • Public investment programs, including those for infrastructure and transportation, be given concrete objectives in terms of urban integration, heritage development, and quality of architecture and land-use planning.

And, to those ends, offers the collaboration of Heritage Montreal.

2015

01. The future of Parc Jean-Drapeau

Considering the great heritage and urban value of Parc Jean-Drapeau, which includes Montreal’s first major park, Île Sainte-Hélène, opened in 1874 for public use, part of which was declared a heritage site by the City of Montreal in 2007;

Considering that the orientations of the municipal administration and the projects announced by the company that manages this park on behalf of the City of Montreal have, over the years, given rise to numerous issues around the conservation and enhancement of the diversified heritage of this land;

Considering that Heritage Montreal has expressed concern about, among other things, the uncertain future of the Place des Nations site and the former United States pavilion at Expo 67;

Considering that the Plan directeur de mise en valeur et de développement du Parc des îles (master plan for the development and enhancement of Parc des îles) adopted by the City of Montreal in 1993 has yet to be updated, despite multiple attempts, some of which Heritage Montreal has been invited to contribute to;

Considering the recent events pertaining to the management of the park and the delay of enhancement projects planned to coincide with the anniversaries to be marked in 2017 (Montreal’s 375th, Canada’s 150th and Expo 67’s 50th), notably the restoration of Place des Nations, and considering the serious concerns expressed by members of the public when plans to privatize part of this land were ventured;

The Annual General Meeting of the members of Heritage Montreal calls on the City of Montreal to:

  • mandate the municipal departments and the Office de consultation publique de Montréal to undertake the process of updating the 1993 master plan, with the collaboration of the Société du parc Jean-Drapeau and the Conseil du patrimoine de Montréal (Montreal Heritage Council), and hold independent public hearings on the orientations and terms of reference of a new master plan;
  • intercede with the Government of Quebec to ensure that the special status of Parc Jean-Drapeau be guaranteed by enshrining it in the Charter of the City  of Montreal, as Mount Royal Park has been;
  • commit to a project to rehabilitate Place des Nations and hold activities there in view of the 50th anniversary of Expo 67 in 2017.

And, to those ends, offers to the City of Montreal and Société du parc Jean-Drapeau the collaboration of Heritage Montreal.

02. Incentives for investment in heritage

Considering the significance of the challenge of the conservation, reuse and enhancement of built heritage, notably ensembles of institutional and industrial buildings in the Montreal metropolitan region; Considering the need to engage more property owners and investors in responding to this challenge and to create a favourable context and incentives to that end; Considering the general framework provided by the Quebec Sustainable Development Act (2006) and Cultural Heritage Act (2011) and considering the discussions on eventual recognition of metropolitan status, and on reforms to the Act Respecting Land Use Planning and Development, but also the work conducted by the federal, provincial and territorial governments as part of the Historic Places Initiative launched by Parks Canada in 2001; Considering that many jurisdictions elsewhere in the world, particularly in the United States and Europe, have recognized the value of investments made in heritage conservation, revitalization, reuse  and enhancement, and their economic and social impacts, including in terms of tourism, and that, to support such investment, they have instituted incentives, especially of a fiscal nature, along with modes of ownership and governance that serve the public interest and promote sustainable development; The Annual General Meeting of the members of Heritage Montreal:

  • calls on the governments of Quebec and Canada to adopt tax incentive measures to support and accelerate investment other than by the public sector in built heritage and its conservation, revitalization and enhancement;
  • asks that the current Quebec legislation on cultural heritage as well as future legislation respecting metropolitan status as well as land use and urban planning incorporate such strategic approaches, including with regard to repurposing of institutional heritage ensembles.

And, to those ends, offers the collaboration of Heritage Montreal.

03. Federal government actions regarding heritage and planning in Montreal

Considering the outstanding concentration in Montreal of buildings and sites with federal heritage designation, and considering the heritage and urban value of many properties of the federal government or its corporations and agencies in the city, notably military barracks, some post offices, the Jacques Cartier and Champlain bridges, Parks Canada sites including the Lachine Canal, and Canada Lands sites including the Old Port and Pointe-du-Moulin, which will be the subject of a planning and public consultation process ahead of the 2017 celebrations; Considering that Canada has been a party to the UNESCO World Heritage Convention since 1976, that it has greatly contributed to its development as an outstanding instrument of international co-operation, and that in 2004 it published a tentative list of sites proposed for World Heritage status that included no Montreal sites; Considering that 2017 will mark the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation and the 50th anniversary of Expo 67, which was the primary international activity conducted by the Government of Canada for the centennial of Confederation, the legacy of which includes several major architectural heritage elements such as Habitat 67, Place des Nations and the former United States pavilion, none of which currently enjoys any special federal status; The Annual General Meeting of the members of Heritage Montreal calls on the Government of Canada to:

  • designate, in view of their impending 50th anniversary in 2017, Expo 67 as an event of national historic significance, and Habitat 67, Place des Nations and the former United States pavilion as national historic sites;
  • include one or more Montreal sites-e.g., Habitat 67 and the institutional and civic  ensembles on Mount Royal-in the next list of places submitted by Canada for UNESCO World Heritage designation, and enter into the required collaborative relationships with the authorities of Quebec and Montreal and with community representatives, so as to draft  the support documentation required to bring international recognition to these sites;
  • ensure the capacity-financial and otherwise-of federal bodies such as Parks Canada to fully carry out their mission to conserve and enhance the heritage sites and buildings in their purview and, to that end, maintain the necessary expertise and the ability to collaborate with the Quebec, Montreal and metropolitan authorities as well as with organizations such as Heritage Montreal;
  • resume work to give  the federal government a strategic framework for heritage  interventions, including tax incentives to encourage, support and accelerate private investment in projects that conserve , revitalize  and enhance  heritage sites and buildings.

And offers to the federal authorities the collaboration of Heritage Montreal to those ends, in the same spirit as the collaboration with Canada Lands regarding the future of Silo No. 5 and with Infrastructure Canada regarding the architectural quality of the new Champlain Bridge.

2014

*2014 resolutions are available in their original language only (French).

01. La réhabilitation des bâtiments vacants patrimoniaux

Considérant le précédent inquiétant créé par l’autorisation en 2013 par l’arrondissement de Ville-Marie de démolir la maison Redpath pour la réalisation d’un projet de dortoir pour étudiants apparemment conforme à la réglementation et ce, sans considération appréciable pour le caractère patrimonial de l’avenue du Musée, Considérant les questions soulevées par ce dossier apparenté à de la « démolition par négligence » et par d’autres dont celui de l’îlot Saint-Laurent qui mettent en question tant l’application de la réglementation montréalaise relative au maintien des bâtiments en bon état que la désignation des bâtiments vacants qui présentent un intérêt patrimonial, dans le cadre de la réforme attendue de l’actuelle loi sur l’aménagement et l’urbanisme, Considérant la résolution CM14 0311 du Conseil municipal adoptée à l’unanimité le 25 mars 2014 avec l’appui du Maire de Montréal invitant les arrondissements à répertorier les bâtiments patrimoniaux vulnérables et demandant aux services centraux de préparer des outils afin de prévenir leur perte et de soutenir activement leur réhabilitation, Considérant l’intérêt d’initiatives comme celles de l’arrondissement du Plateau Mont-Royal pour amener la restauration du bâtiment victorien abandonné angle Saint-Laurent / des Pins et de l’arrondissement de Ville-Marie pour créer un inventaire des bâtiments vacants sur son territoire, L’Assemblée générale d’Héritage Montréal demande que la Ville de Montréal :

  • Déploie les moyens nécessaires pour constituer et garder à jour avec le concours des arrondissements et du Conseil du patrimoine de Montréal, un répertoire montréalais unifié des bâtiments d’intérêt patrimonial à risque notamment du fait de leur négligence, désaffectation ou abandon par leur propriétaire;
  • Applique avec rigueur les outils qu’elle possède déjà, tel le règlement 07-034 sur l’entretien des bâtiments, et développe les moyens d’action pour intervenir rapidement afin d’éviter la dégradation de ces bâtiments et pour amener leur réhabilitation au bénéfice de leur environnement urbain et du patrimoine montréalais.

02. La protection et la mise en valeur du Mille Carré

Considérant la valeur emblématique du Mille carré (dit « doré ») dans l’histoire de Montréal, du Québec et du Canada par son aménagement, la concentration de sites et de bâtiments patrimoniaux ainsi que la présence de plusieurs lieux associés à la naissance d’une action moderne de reconnaissance et sauvegarde du patrimoine architectural et urbain, Considérant que ce territoire et son paysage urbain ne bénéficient pas encore d’une reconnaissance nationale de leur intérêt contrairement à plusieurs secteurs adjacents comme le mont Royal et le site du Grand Séminaire et Collège de Montréal, tous deux déclarés sites patrimoniaux par le gouvernement du Québec, Considérant les enseignements qu’on doit tirer de plusieurs cas récents dont ceux de la démolition de la maison Redpath, de la densification d’anciennes résidences comme la maison Mount Stephen et le 1500, avenue du Dr Penfield ainsi que les projets successifs d’agrandissement du musée des beaux-arts ou l’annonce de la fermeture prochaine du magasin Holt Renfrew de l’avenue Sherbrooke, Considérant les intentions des universités McGill et Concordia de se départir de plusieurs maisons patrimoniales qu’elles occupent dans le cadre de projets de redéploiement de leurs activités au centre-ville et les risques que cela pourrait faire courir à un important patrimoine faute de mesures préalables assurant sa protection et sa mise en valeur, y compris les nombreux décors intérieurs remarquables qui y ont été préservés, Considérant l’enjeu majeur associé à l’avenir du domaine institutionnel patrimonial dans ce territoire (voir notre résolution 2013/02) touchant notamment les ensembles hospitaliers – Royal Victoria, Shriners, hôpital pour enfants, hôpital général de Montréal – et les ensembles conventuels comme le Grand Séminaire ou la maison-mère des Sœurs Grises, heureusement intégrée au campus de l’université Concordia, L’Assemblée générale d’Héritage Montréal demande :

  • Qu’un statut de reconnaissance nationale soit accordé au Square Mile / Mille carré dont le territoire est délimité au Nord par le parc du Mont-Royal, à l’Est par l’avenue du Parc, au Sud par la voie ferrée menant à la gare Windsor puis le boulevard René-Lévesque et à l’Ouest par l’avenue Atwater, et que son application soit faite en étroite collaboration avec la Ville de Montréal;
  • Que ce statut soit complété de mesures concrètes de protection et de mise en valeur qui assurent une véritable prise en compte des enjeux de patrimoine dans les outils de planification et de réglementation comme dans la prise de décision, ainsi qu’une protection efficace des bâtiments, sites et intérieurs d’intérêt patrimonial.

03. La préservation et la mise en valeur des panoramas publics

Considérant l’historique des actions menées par les Montréalais et plusieurs instances municipales pour préserver certains panoramas dans l’intérêt de la métropole et de sa personnalité propre, à commencer par les efforts convergents de la société civile et de la Ville de Montréal qui aboutirent en 1876 à l’inauguration du parc du Mont-Royal dont le concept d’aménagement imaginé par Frederick Law Olmsted, accordait une grande importance à l’expérience paysagère et aux panoramas encadrés, Considérant le 30e anniversaire en 2014 de l’affaire McGill College dans laquelle Héritage Montréal a joué un rôle clé pour préserver et amplifier un panorama urbain vers la montagne, Considérant la préoccupation croissante, ici comme ailleurs dans le monde pour la valeur patrimoniale des paysages urbains, des panoramas et des liens visuels d’intérêt public dont certains sont essentiels à l’identité des territoires comme ceux de notre métropole, Considérant la vague de constructions de grande hauteur au centre-ville et dans certains secteurs voisins tels que les abords du Vieux Montréal, Griffintown ou la pointe Nord de l’île des Sœurs, souvent encouragée par les pouvoirs publics sans considération suffisante pour leurs impacts sur les panoramas et sur les liens visuels publics, avec pour conséquence une rapide érosion du paysage public et la privatisation accélérée des vues d’intérêt, L’Assemblée générale d’Héritage Montréal demande que :

  • La Ville de Montréal, l’agglomération et la Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal poursuivent le travail accompli, notamment pour le mont Royal, et procèdent avec l’aide d’instances telles que le Conseil du patrimoine de Montréal et des organismes de la société civile à un inventaire des panoramas d’intérêt public, notamment ceux reliant les mont Royal et les autres collines montérégiennes, le fleuve et les plans d’eau de la région métropolitaine ainsi que les secteurs et repères patrimoniaux comme le Vieux Montréal, le parc Jean Drapeau, les ponts et certains monuments d‘architecture,
  • La préservation et la mise en valeur – notamment par l’accessibilité, l’aménagement de qualité et l’interprétation – des panoramas d’intérêt public soient inscrits comme objectifs des outils de planification dont le Schéma d’aménagement et de développement de l’agglomération, le Plan d’urbanisme de la Ville de Montréal ainsi que le Plan métropolitain d’aménagement et de développement, et qu’elles fassent l’objet de mesures spécifiques dans les réglementations et les programmes d’aménagement.

04. L’office de consultation publique de Montréal

Considérant que la création de l’Office de consultation publique de Montréal est enchâssée dans la Charte de la Ville de Montréal que le gouvernement du Québec et l’Assemblée nationale ont adoptée pour aider au développement harmonieux et durable de la métropole, notamment suite à des demandes formulées par des organismes dont Héritage Montréal, Considérant le travail remarquable accompli par l’Office pour aider la population à comprendre et commenter substantiellement les enjeux soulevés par une grande diversité de projets depuis sa constitution par la Ville de Montréal en 2002, notamment sous la présidence de Louise Roy qui termine son mandat le 19 juin prochain sans qu’une succession ne lui ait été encore assurée, Considérant les défis complexes de développement et de revitalisation urbaine auxquels la Ville de Montréal et ses arrondissements devront faire face au cours des prochaines années et, dans ce contexte, de la nécessité de pouvoir compter tant sur une expertise municipale de qualité que sur des processus crédibles, prévisibles et indépendants de consultation publique afin d’éclairer la prise de décision sur des projets comme sur des éléments de nature prospective, L’Assemblée générale d’Héritage Montréal demande que :

  • La Ville de Montréal mette tous les moyens en œuvre pour maintenir et amplifier la mission de l’Office de consultation publique de Montréal et son intégrité en lui assurant une nouvelle présidence à la hauteur du travail accompli et de la crédibilité reconnue par la société montréalaise à cette instance qui permet aux citoyens de participer et d’éclairer la prise de décision, notamment en matière d’aménagement et de développement de la métropole,
  • La Ville de Montréal mette en place les mécanismes qui rendent plus transparents la réception et le suivi accordé par l’administration montréalaise aux consultations publiques de l’Office, ses analyses et ses recommandations.

2013

01. The development of the heart of Montreal and the downtown core

Considering the importance of Montreal’s central neighbourhoods and downtown core, which lie between the river and Mount Royal, in terms of history, architectural heritage, living environments, urban identity as well as the city’s economy,

Considering the real estate pressure on this emblematic area, whose governance is divided between several administrative authorities, and the resulting coherency and interborough challenges for the development, evaluation and implementation of projects – private and public – in regards to their impact at a human level, the viability of the downtown core and the urban landscape,

Considering the recent negative experience with the demolitions on St. Laurent Boulevard, the authorization of many large-scale construction projects, as well as the major changes to the Ville-Marie urban plan, in a process consistent with the laws but inadequate in terms of consultation in assuring their legitimacy considering the issues at stake,

Considering the potential  of learning from outstanding achievements such as Maison Alcan inaugurated in 1983, the Milton-Parc cooperative, the development of the Old Port, McGill College Avenue, the Quartier International, Place des Arts within the Quartier des Spectacles,  and multiple public consultations and dialogue exercises such as those taking place in Old Montreal and on Mount Royal,

The General Assembly of Heritage Montreal requests that:

  • The heart of the city, consisting of downtown, Old Montreal, Parc Jean-Drapeau, the mountain and the central neighbourhoods including the Quartier Latin, Milton-Parc, the Square Mile and Griffintown, be collectively recognized as a priority area for Montreal and metropolitan planning in order to maintain its vitality and human scale, as well as to enhance urban heritage and development for the benefit of the community;
  • The heart of the city be the subject of a specifically designed planning and public consultation exercise involving the municipal administrations of Montreal and Westmount as well as those of the boroughs of Ville-Marie, Plateau-Mont-Royal, Southwest and Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce in order to improve the consistency of rules governing the supervision of development projects, and to encourage the development of high-value projects in the public interest, for example, the development of the river banks and of the canal, of St. Laurent Boulevard, the mountain, the Guy–Côte-des-Neiges axis, Sherbrooke and Peel Streets, and of Pine Avenue.
  • That the governance of the territory be reviewed to clarify the obligations of municipal and local officials toward collective values, the walkability and livability of downtown.

02. The Future of Historic Institutional Areas of Montreal

Considering the emblematic importance of buildings and sites of religious, medical and academic institutional heritage in shaping the identity of the city and its neighbourhoods, as well as the collective interest they represent through their history, their architecture and their presence in the community and the collective landscape,

Considering the significant challenges faced by these properties following major changes to their vocation in the short or medium term – for example, large sections of the Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal and the Royal Victoria Hospital which will lose their medical functions in 2015 and are included in the heritage site of Mont-Royal as outlined by the Quebec Government – and the absence of a public and transparent procedure to guide and oversee these changes for the benefit of the community like the one already endorsed by Heritage Montreal among the various governmental authorities and Montreal,

Considering the importance of drawing lessons from outstanding achievements such as the conversion of the Bon Pasteur monastery, partnership agreements like those involved in the development of McGill College or the Quartier International as well as land-use strategies using practical tools such as long-term leasing, servitude or trust,

The General Assembly of Heritage Montreal requests that:

  • The Quebec government and Montreal authorities collaborate to implement a transparent formula with a proactive multi-stakeholder partnership to plan and manage these heritage properties and their conversion in the collective interest, in order to respect their heritage and emblematic value;
  • The Quebec government retain these heritage properties in the public domain by specifically rejecting purely financial objectives related to the potential sales of the Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal and the Royal Victoria Hospital to benefit the CHUM and MUHC projects, and recognize their transcendent public interest by adopting measures to ensure their enhancement and redevelopment for the benefit of the entire Montreal community;
  • The Quebec government recognize the unique nature of the city’s academic heritage and adapt its support programs, particularly in the resolution of deferred maintenance on the campuses of McGill University and Université de Montréal, and the academic conversion of institutional heritage elements such as the Grey Nuns Mother House and the Royal Victoria Hospital.
  • And invites the citizens of Montreal to exercise their right of initiative  enshrined in the Montreal Charter, and to request a consultation by the Office de consultation publique de Montréal on the future of all areas of Montreal institutional heritage.

03. The architectural quality of the new bridge across the St. Lawrence

Considering the Canadian government’s announcements for the construction of a new bridge over the St. Lawrence River to replace the existing Champlain Bridge, which will be Canada’s largest public construction project in a decade,

Considering the open letter published in Le Devoir on October 6th, 2011, at the initiative of Heritage Montreal, bringing together the professional associations of architects, engineers and urban planners, as well as other key players in development and design, to request a competition for the bridge prior to the selection of construction firms, in order to create a “work of art” and a globally recognized icon for the 21st century,

Considering the resolutions of the Montreal City Council and the Montreal Metropolitan Community requesting the creation of a bridge that reflects the recognition of Montreal as a UNESCO City of Design, notably by means of an international competition, and the announcement of a partnership between Transport Canada and the City of Montreal to ensure the consideration of architectural and landscape issues in this major project,

The General Assembly of Heritage Montreal requests that:

  • The design and implementation stages of the future bridge be clearly differentiated with separate competitive processes in order to ensure that this major project benefits from the highest level of expertise in architectural design and civil engineering at every stage of its design, implementation and operation;
  • The federal, provincial, metropolitan and Montreal authorities establish an independent committee composed of internationally recognized experts and representatives of civil society, to provide guidance during the implementation of the project in order to ensure that the standards of architectural and structural excellence are met and that its successful integration into the landscape is achieved;
  • Municipal authorities on the island of Montreal and the South Shore establish urban planning tools consistent with the design efforts required for the new bridge and respectful of the remarkable character of the landscape into which it will be inserted, to not only to showcase this work of art but also to ensure its proper integration within their respective territories, as well as protect the quality of their respective views and panoramas.