Redevelopment of Children’s Hospital – The City of Montreal has given the green light to most of the recommendations of Montreal’s Public Consultation Office (OCPM) in regards to the redevelopment of the former Children’s Hospital site near the intersection of Tupper Street and Atwater Avenue. The Montreal Children’s Hospital is currently located at the old Glen Yards site in NDG where it forms part of the McGill University Health Centre while the Children’s Hospital site downtown has been vacant for more than 2 years.
Corey Gulkin, a spokesperson for the Peter-McGill District Council said he hopes that the redevelopment will benefit residents in the vicinity. The neighborhood group has been fighting for years for more green space, affordable family housing and recreational space in a district where services for residents have not kept pace with business development. “We hope that the Montreal Children’s Hospital site will live up to its potential and that Mayor Denis Coderre will keep his promises to expand social housing units on site, build a primary school and expand the Hector Toe-Blake park,” he said.
The city has authorized developer DevimCo Inc. to build 1200 housing units on the site including condos, affordable family housing and social housing projecting triple the number of mixed usage units foreseen in the original proposal. There are also plans to build a hotel, a cultural and community center, a library, a 250-seat auditorium for shows and a community kitchen. According to Matthieu Pajot, the neighborhood council’s project manager the main building on the Children’s Hospital site will be demolished while the former nurse’s house will be maintained and restored with plans to turn the parking lot into a park with several towers.
However, the community group feels that the revised plan still doesn’t provide sufficient green space fo residents in the area. The city has agreed to connect two local parks, Parc Henri-Dunant and Toe-Blake Park, but Gulkin maintains this is still not an adequate amount of green space for Peter-McGill’s residents. “During the OCPM consultations, residents and organizations were asking for a green corridor to connect Cabot Square all the way down to Hector Toe-Blake,” he says. The Peter-McGill district currently has 3 times less green space than the Montreal average.
There has also been some talk about building a French primary school although there are no definite plans. There is neither a French nor English primary school which will no doubt pose a problem as more families move into the neighborhood where the Alexis Nihon Plaza and Dawson College are located.