WATCH ABOVE: The sound of construction is in the air on Notre-Dame Street, but it’s nothing compared to what the borough has planned in 2016. Global’s Eric Cohen reports.
MONTREAL – The sound of construction is in the air on Notre-Dame Street, but it’s nothing compared to what the borough has planned in 2016.
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The street will be dug up for some much needed work, with the Sud-Ouest borough announcing plans to co-design the rebuild with input from the local population.
“What we’re going to be setting up is a participatory process for the next two months that will take place on the street,” said Samantha Slade, Co-Director of Percolab, the firm planning extensive consultations with citizens and merchants to improve the street.
“We’ll be conferring directly with them through micro-conversations, through participatory workshops and through games that we’re designing to help people think out of the box.”
Events and activities for public participation will be posted on the website.
“We would like to put an emphasis on communication,” said Benoit Dorais, Sud-Ouest borough mayor.
“It’s very important. We want to give all the information in real time.”
A sidewalk is blocked to make way for construction on Notre-Dame Street, Monday, August 31, 2015. Eric Cohen/Global News
A sidewalk is blocked to make way for construction on Notre-Dame Street, Monday, August 31, 2015.
Eric Cohen/Global News
According to Dorias, construction on the major artery is due to start next spring and will stretch from Atwater Street all the way to Saint-Augustin Street.
The price tag is not yet known, but will likely cost around $4 million and is sure to cause headaches for citizens and merchants alike.
“We wouldn’t want the same thing to happen like it happened on Parc Avenue where they were closed for a year or a year and a half, where commerces were having a problem with the flow of people coming in,” said Sébastien Lefebvre a local business owner.
He added he’s happy to know that his concerns will be taken into consideration.
“I think they should always ask the opinion of the people who use the artery the most, which would be the smart thing,” he told Global News.
Notre-Dame Street has been targeted by vandalism in the past, motivated by what many suspect are anti-gentrification sentiments.
City councillor Craig Sauvé insisted this project will not fan those flames.
“Whether you have economic fears about the way this neighbourhood is going to turn out or not, everybody wants the streets to be safe and more beautiful,” he said.
I think the community can get involved at all levels.”
It’s a sentiment echoed by the mayor, who professed: “We want a Notre-Dame Street for everybody.”