Photo Credit: Marie Eve Boisvert
Initial Research by: Vincent Rara
Edited by: Samantha Miller & Nicole Brekelmans
Case study compiled in 2019
Project: Bonaventure Project
Type of Urban Strategy: Ecological Infrastructure
Type of Project: Urban Reconstruction
Location: Montréal, Québec
Date Designed/Planned: 2011
Construction Completed: 2017
Designer: Groupe Rousseau Lefebvre
The Bonaventure Project marked Montréal's 375th birthday and served as a gateway that invites the world to downtown Montréal. The site was once the location of an elevated expressway that had visitors travel over Griffintown, a neighbourhood that consisted of blue-collar workers. After WWII the neighbourhood would experience population numbers as low as 1,000 residents. Slowly, the fate of Griffintown began improving. The condo boom of the early 2000s attracted residents, and today the median income for a condo buyer in the area is higher than the median income of those buying homes in other parts of the city. The elevated expressway is now a ground-level boulevard. The Bonaventure Project has brought much needed green public space to the area and has also begun correcting traffic circulation issues the area had been experiencing for years. Griffintown has now become reintegrated into the urban fabric of the city due to the success of the Bonaventure Project.
The hosts of the Expo ’67 had visitors from the south approach over the Champlain Bridge and drive over the factories and slums of Griffintown before reaching the city core (Lindeman, 2018).
Griffintown was first settled in the early 1800s by Irish immigrants who followed jobs created by industrialization. More would soon follow after Ireland’s Great Famine and would turn the area into a distinct Irish enclave (Lindeman, 2018). After WWII as little as 1,000 people lived in Griffintown, and in 1963, the area was re-zoned for industrial development to accommodate the Bonaventure Expressway (Lindeman, 2018). In the 1980s Montréal purchased swaths of Griffintown, and various programs would allow Griffintown to benefit from the condo boom of the early 2000s. The median income for condo buyers in the area is $80 000, $7,000 higher than the average salary of home buyers in other parts of Montréal (Lindeman, 2018).
PROJECT BACKGROUND AND HISTORY
GOAL OF THE PROJECT
DESIGN, DEVELOPMENT, AND DECISION MAKING PROCESS
Design decisions revolved around creating a functional, prestigious and user-friendly entrance; the promotion of adjacent neighbourhoods along the north-south axis and east-west axis; and supporting urban redevelopment through strategic public interventions (Project Bonaventure, n.d.). Analysis of traffic flow had a large impact on the decisions made, because it highlighted a need for improved interaction between pedestrians, cyclists, public transit, and vehicular traffic. Roughly 27, 000 motorized vehicles would move through the site daily (Project Bonaventure, n.d.). Removing the elevated expressway would reallocate 65% of land to active transportation, 10% more space to public transit, and reduce space for automobiles from 70% to 25% (Project Bonaventure, n.d.).
Due to having historical ties to both industry and the port, the site would have high archaeological potential, and this led to the relocation of underground infrastructure to keep the site’s archaeological integrity (Project Bonaventure, n.d.).
Multiple documents would also provide direction for how the design would develop such as:
-Montréal's Master Plan
-Economic Development Strategy Success
-Corporate Action Plan for Climate Protection
-Policy for a Peaceful and Safe Environment
-Peaceful and Safe Environment Montréal
-Montreal Family Policy
-Cultural Development Policy of the City of Montréal (2005-2015)
-STM Corporate Business Plan (2007-2011)
-AMT Strategic Plan (2003)
-Protection and Enhancement Plan for Mount Royal (2008)
ROLE OF DESIGNERS
“Bonaventure Expressway to be replaced with boulevard, Denis Coderre says” cbc.ca. Published December 19, 2014. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/bonaventure-expressway-to-be-replaced-with-boulevard-denis-coderre-says-1.2879139
“Bonaventure Expressway turned Boulevard.” Mcgillimmobilier.com. Accessed March 12, 2019. http://www.mcgillimmobilier.com/en/bonaventure-expressway-turned-boulevard/
“Bonaventure Project – First SITES v2 certification in Canada + Laureate of the GRANDS PRIX DU DESIGN.” Rousseau-lefebvre.com. Accessed March 12, 2019. https://rousseau-lefebvre.com/en/projects/bonaventure
“Bonaventure Project Full Submission TAC 2018 Sustainable Urban Transportation Award.” Tac-atc.ca. Accessed March 12, 2019.
Bryan-Baynes, Elysia. “Repairs needed less than a year after Bonaventure Expressway park opens.” Globalnews.ca. Published August 3, 2018. https://globalnews.ca/news/4371102/repairs-needed-less-than-a-year-after-bonaventure-expressway-park-opens/
“l’historique.” Projetbonaventure.ca. Accessed March 12, 2019. https://projetbonaventure.ca/projet/lhistorique/
“la management des rues et des trottoirs.” Projetbonaventure.ca. Accessed March 12, 2019.
“la mise en valeur du patrimoine.” Projetbonaventure.ca. Accessed March 12, 2019.
“la vision” Projetbonaventure.ca. Accessed March 12, 2019.
“les interventions en transport” Projetbonaventure.ca. Accessed March 12, 2019.
Lindeman, Tracey. “The Unconventional Beauty of Montreal’s New Bonaventure Expressway.” Citylab.com. Published November 6, 2018. https://www.citylab.com/design/2018/11/montreal-expressway-projet-bonaventure-urban-design/575011/
“Public art: at the heart of the Quartier Bonaventure Development Plan.” Ocpm.qc.ca. Accessed March 12, 2019. http://ocpm.qc.ca/sites/ocpm.qc.ca/files/document_consultation/3a1en.pdf
Riga, Andy. “Say goodbye to elevated stretch of Bonaventure Expressway.” Montrealgazaette.com. Published July 7, 2016. https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/say-goodbye-to-elevated-stretch-of-bonaventure-expressway
“sequence des travaux.” Projetbonaventure.ca. Accessed March 12, 2019.
GENESIS OF PROJECT
Initial estimates at the beginning of the project were $90 million, with the detailed pre-project design cost amounting to $141.7 million. The new evaluation was due to a combination of civil engineering work and the expansion of the project territory. While project costs increased, the economic benefits for the city are also projected to increase considerably.
Cost of Works
- Bonaventure Expressway ($2008)
-Acquisition of land $200,000
-Traffic management $19,730,223
-Work site Organization (10%) $7,407,847
-Construction contingencies $12,809,370
-Professional fees and project management $11,334,005
Total Before Taxes $125,559,911
GST 5% $6,277,996
PST 7.5% $9,887,843
TOTAL COST $141,725,750
The provincial government would contribute to replacing the elevated structure with a ground-level boulevard. These funds were granted under the Agreement Montréal 2025 (McGillimmobilier, n.d.). During construction, they were able to reuse 95% of the 47,000 tonnes of concrete from the demolished structure, generating savings of $450,000, which helped keep the project on a budget (TAC, 2018).