Programme Particulier d’Urbanisme (PPU)
du Quartier des Gares
Submission on behalf of the Victor Hugo / Lucien L’Allier Residents Association
June 11, 2015
The Victor Hugo/Lucien L’Allier Residents Association is an organization of residents with an interest in neighborhood issues. As residents, we work together addressing issues and seek to improve the security and quality of life for the families and children in our unique area in downtown Montreal. Established only a few years ago, the association is actively involved in greater issues that affect residents in the larger area that includes a large portion of the proposed Quartier des Gares and the borough of Peter McGill.
Many improvements (and investments) in the immediate area to improve and establish parks and build community involvement are the results of the Victor Hugo / Lucien L’Allier Residents Association and local residents.
- Many homes in the immediate area are heritage homes dating back to 1885.
- Although the average value of homes in Peter McGill is $491K the average value of the homes in this area are much greater as are the average incomes.
- There are an increased number of young families in the area requiring green space, parks and recreation.
- Retention of residents is of key importance in building the community and revitalizing the downtown core.
- There has been a great deal of change over the past few years following the arrival of the Bell Center.
- The increased traffic and congestion is a major concern.
- New condominiums and office towers continue to be built in the immediate area is resulting in major traffic issues.
- For purposes of this document the region, primarily referred to, pertains to the area from rue St. Antoine to rue Notre Dame and from Rue Guy to rue Robert Bourassa.
Green Space – Reduced
- The diagrams in the proposal are very misleading and needs to be revisited.
- The diagrams indicate an “organized continuous area” of green space, however, when looking at the illustrated diagrams versus what is actually in place there is clearly a reduction of green space at the expense of development.
- To compensate and illustrate this continuous line of green space corners of parking lots have been cut off to allow green space.
- Directly beside the Welcome Hall Mission, the park is being eliminated for construction of a building.
- The Lucien L’Allier Dog Park is being eliminated for construction of a building.
- Open space and a portion of the George-Vanier Community Garden is being eliminated for construction of a building.
- It would suggest when comparing the two diagrams that less investment would be required to “clean up and organize” the existing green space while not disrupting the current green space infrastructure a great deal.
- In the immediate area there is the Welcome Hall Mission and the Salvation Army. Those persons using the services of these facilities need to be considered. Programs need to be established to ensure that the area is respected, safe and clean in a way that encourages all residents of the area to enjoy the green space with safety.
- The existing green space must be looked at more closely on how to integrate and organize the space to be more accessible and usable by the public.
- Thoroughfares are required to allow pedestrians easy access to each area in a safe and secure manner with minimal interaction with traffic.
- Ensure adequate health and safety measures are in place.
Green Space – Currently not utilized
- There are two areas (city walkways) where green space currently exists, however are not included or mentioned in the plans.
- The two areas are indicated in the following diagram located between rue Lucien L’Allier and rue Lusignan and rue St. Antoine and rue Bonaventure.
- These two walkways offer a tranquil green area that should be included and further enhanced within the PPU.
- Inclusion of the two identified city pathways within the project.
Congestion: Traffic, Cyclists, Pedestrians / Noise
- Increased traffic and congestion is a major concern.
- New condominiums continue to be built, however little to no improvements to the traffic infrastructure has been made. This results in traffic gridlock that was once during rush hour is now occurring all day.
- With the building of the new Champlain within the next couple of years traffic will only get worse as more vehicles use de la Montagne to head towards the Victoria Bridge.
- Increased traffic is making the roads and intersections more dangerous for everyone, in particular pedestrians and cyclists.
- Parking is a premium for residents as the local streets are nothing more than parking lots for those who transit to work downtown or attend events at the Bell Center.
- Traffic and parking regulations are not being properly enforced, with many vehicles improperly using the roads, (speeding, illegal turns, access local only streets), and vehicles illegally parked with bylaws misinterpreted resulting in unsafe residential streets.
- Noise from the traffic on the highway and train tracks is becoming worse. Many complaints have been made regarding the announcements made from the train station throughout the day. These announcements can be heard throughout the neighbourhood yet complaints have only been ignored. With the continual refusal to deal with traffic and noise in the area there is little confidence by residences that there will be any improvements and that matters will only get worse and further ignored.
- Before any improvements are approved, the infrastructure needs to be reviewed with a solid plan to improve the traffic congestion.
- Walkways over congested streets should be considered. In addition a cohesive plan for bicycle paths that do not interfere with the movement of traffic, and are not at the expense of traffic lanes or parking, needs to be developed.
- The Lucien L’Allier train station must address the noise from the speakers with improved technology.
- Elimination of two community gardens, Georges-Vanier Community Garden located on Rue St. Jacques between de la Montagne / rue Jean d’Estrées and the Versailles Community Garden located on rue St. Antoine between rue Lucien L’Allier / rue Versailles.
- The community gardens are enjoyed not only by those cultivating and growing vegetables and flowers, but also by many residents overlooking or passing by on a daily basis.
- The community gardens bring communities and residents together that build community spirit and pride.
- Over the past couple of years, to the dismay of the George Vanier Community Gardens and local residents, a portion of the garden was going to be annexed in order to facilitate a cooperative housing project. In 2014 the gardens received additional space from the city of Montreal and MTQ to compensate for the lost land. The gardens have been re-cultivated through hard work only to be destroyed by the PPU plans.
- The fact that these community gardens exist, providing green space in the downtown core, should be the pride of Montreal.
- Although indicated that the community gardens would be relocated, it is difficult to imagine, and overly optimistic, where or how two gardens would be located in such a small area on the corner of rue St. Antoine and rue Guy. While the diagram is very effective at identifying green space is does not reflect the terrain in this area that greatly affects the use of the community gardens.
- Access to the proposed located would be very difficult and dangerous at best due to the volume of traffic.
- The two community gardens should remain where currently situated and better integrated and beautified within the existing plans and allow those in the area or passing to view and enjoy the gardens.
Lucien L’Allier Dog Park
- In the fall of 2014 the city opened the new dog park after investing $250K. To eliminate/move the dog park following such a recent investment is a wasteful use of resources.
- The dog park is enjoyed by the many pet owners in the immediate area and growing community of condominiums.
- It is suggested that the dog park is to be relocated west, however it is not clearly indicated where and there is very little space.
- This dog park should be enjoyed by all pet owners in the immediate area, however moving the park west is placing it further away from those that need the park, those living in the condominiums with reduced area to exercise their pets.
- Dog parks by their nature are open public areas and should be incorporated into the existing plan.
- The Lucien L’Allier Dog Park should remain in its current location and the PPU should better incorporate the existence of the park in the new plans.
- A building should not be built on existing green space.
- Any relocation should occur at the beginning of the project to minimize any inconvenience to area dog owners.
- The proposed PPU “Quartier des Gares” map is not identified correctly with “Petite Bourgogne” reaching into Peter-McGill/Ville Marie. Petite Bourgogne boundaries are on the west side of rue Guy.
- The identification of Quartier des Gares should include the entire southern area of Peter McGill/Ville-Marie and would reach to rue Guy to the west and rue Notre Dame to the south.
- This area that has not been included in the identity is a thriving family community that deserves to be recognized. Included with the quartier is required to maintain the great sense of community that has been built over the past few years.
- Many of the homes have been built where the former tracks were leading to the Bonaventure train station and therefore only right for this area to be included in the identity.
- Although no additional investment is being asked for residents want to be included and identified within a “Quartier”. This area is not part of Petite Bourgogne and not part of Griffintown however often incorrectly included.
- An argument was made that the area was not included in the current identification/plans since no work/investment was being made in the area, however based on the illustrations and the recommendations to relocate the community gardens and dog park this is not true.
- Include the remaining area of Peter McGill/Ville-Marie west to rue Guy and south to rue Notre Dame within the identity of Quartier des Gares from this point forward.
- Based on the feedback received from local residents the improvements for green space is much needed.
- Additional construction and development of land at the expense of existing green space is strongly disagreed.
- The current community gardens and dog park should be integrated into the overall plan where they currently exist and should NOT be relocated.
- The PPU does not accurately reflect the real situation and quite frankly appears to be more of a “sales-pitch” with many flaws.
- Any identification of the area must accurately reflect and include the balance of Peter McGill
- Common theme and feedback is to clean up/organize the existing area and green space, plant more trees and save tax dollars.
Victor Hugo/Lucien L’Allier Residents Association