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The Old Port will still have to wait



The 50 million construction site has been dragging on for five years

Efforts to revitalize the Old Port of Montreal sector are falling behind, as projects led by federal companies stretch or are delayed, learned The Press.

Without fanfare, major redevelopment work in the heart of the Old Port, scheduled for last summer, has been postponed to 2024.

This $50 million project was to integrate into Old Montreal the “entrances leading to the King-Edward, Jacques-Cartier and Clock Tower wharfs” in order to improve pedestrian circulation. The promenade linking Quai King-Edward to Quai de l’Horloge (about 700 meters) was to “be redesigned to add trees and grassed areas to replace certain concrete areas”. The project has been in the pipeline since 2017.


What the entrance to the Quai Jacques-Cartier should look like in summer

Next door, the Port Tower project – at the end of the Grand Quai de Montréal – is also falling behind schedule. This 65-meter structure is described as a “unique architectural signature for Montreal” and must offer an essential tourist attraction with an observation post at its summit.


The Port Tower project, at the end of the Grand Quai

The project was due to be completed in 2021, a deadline then pushed back to 2022. But two months from the end of the year, the tower is still covered with scaffolding and the exterior cladding has not yet been installed.

The Canada Lands Company (CLC) is responsible for the Old Port of Montreal revitalization project. His spokesperson, Manon Lapensée, explained that the preparations were more complicated than expected, also underlining the repercussions of the pandemic.

The complexity of the projects involved

“There is a lot of work to be done upstream with professionals from various specialties – particularly in terms of the state of the underground infrastructures, the state of the arboreal park, the preservation and enhancement of the heritage”, underlines spokesperson.

At the same time, coordination work with stakeholders, including the City of Montreal and the Montreal Port Authority, continues. Work will begin in the spring of 2024.

Manon Lapensée, Spokesperson, Canada Lands Company

SIC is also the owner of the monumental silo noh 5, just west of the Old Port. After a three-year delay in announcing that developer Devimco will be able to develop this sector of Montreal, negotiations for the acquisition of the structure continue. The promoters expected that the Montreal Public Consultation Office (OCPM) would look into the matter this fall, but Montreal has not yet submitted its master plan.

“Devimco has been working in the Peel basin sector for at least four years,” said Devimco spokesperson André Bouthillier.

We hope it won’t take another four years to start realizing these projects. We work closely with the City.

André Bouthillier, spokesperson, Devimco

As for the Port of Montreal Tower, the inauguration is now “scheduled for the spring of 2023”, indicated the Director of Communications for the Port of Montreal, Renée Larouche.

“The Port Tower construction site is a complex project,” adds Larouche. We have experienced some availability difficulties for certain materials, some delivery delays and a labor shortage related to the pandemic, but the site is progressing well at the moment. »

The Old Montreal Business Development Corporation and the Old Montreal Residents Association, whose members are directly affected by the delays, declined to comment on the situation.

A previous version of this text identified André Bouthillier as spokesperson for the SIC. He is a spokesperson for Devimco.

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