Major project to develop the approaches of the Jacques Cartier Bridge

2 April 2017

Mr. Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montréal, and Mr. Marc Miller, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and Member of Parliament for Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Sœurs, unveiled an ambitious project today to develop the approaches of the Jacques Cartier Bridge. This project is aligned with the orientations set out in the Ville de Montréal’s Downtown Strategy, which was unveiled last June.

“The Jacques Cartier Bridge, which will soon be lit up for Montréal’s 375th anniversary and Canada’s 150th anniversary, is one of the city’s iconic symbols. Its presence in the Sainte-Marie and Saint-Jacques neighbourhoods should be an asset for the built landscape of these communities. The proposed development will improve the appearance of this entrance to the city, help pedestrians and cyclists get around, and enhance the quality of waterfront public spaces, all while highlighting this historic structure,” said Mr. Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montréal.

“Developing the land of the Jacques Cartier Bridge approaches is an opportunity to make this infrastructure a seamless part of its environment with an urban park to serve the community and the enhancement of the city entrance,” added Mr. Miller. “This project is in line with the Government of Canada’s vision to provide communities with social, green and intermodal infrastructure.”                                                                                               

The Jacques Cartier Bridge sector

The Jacques Cartier Bridge is one of Montréal’s architectural icons. Built at the end of the 1920’s, this monumental structure is also a key feature of the Montréal skyline and one of the main gateways to downtown. However, this downtown access route has broken up the urban fabric in its neighbouring communities for over 75 years. On either side of the bridge, the Sainte-Marie and Saint-Jacques residential neighbourhoods are more isolated because of this major transportation structure.

The development project

Developing the entrance to the city and rebuilding the “head” of the bridge is a pragmatic, realistic, and bold project. The developed territory will be bordered by Papineau to the west, Ontario to the north, Parthenais to the east, and René-Lévesque to the south. The goal is to create a structured, welcoming and safe entrance to the city that will improve the quality of life of community residents and green the neighbourhood. The development will improve pedestrian and cycling paths between adjoining neighbourhoods and make it safer for people to travel by bus, by bicycle, or on foot.

Bicycle path network

The development aims to improve traffic for all modes of transportation. This will help different types of transportation users share the space and feel safe. Another goal is to improve pedestrian and cyclist transportation, as the development will become a continuation of the east-west and north-south bicycle path network. The Ville de Montréal is planning to extend the De Maisonneuve bicycle path to the east to connect with the bicycle paths east of the bridge. The bicycle paths on the bridge will be connected to the paths managed by the Ville de Montréal.

Area around Papineau metro

Surrounded by Cartier, Dorion, Sainte-Catherine and De Maisonneuve, the Papineau metro station acts as a civic space for the neighbourhood west of the bridge. The proposed development will aim to make this space safer for people travelling by bus and bicycle, improve pedestrian spaces, and increase the amount of greenery in the sector.

Isolated neighbourhoods

Although criss-crossed by major roads that connect the bridge to nearby neighbourhoods, this sector also has eight small streets (approximately 150 m long) that are mainly residential and rather quiet. These streets, which run east-west between De Lorimier and Dorion, bore the brunt of the major changes from the bridge’s construction. Today, the area has a lot of parking spaces, especially under the bridge, as well as vacant lots. To prevent unnecessary car traffic and enhance the development under the bridge, the project will transform these spaces into streets that are more pedestrian-friendly. The project will enhance the area with more green space, widened sidewalks, urban furniture, and safe intersections.

Development under the bridge

The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated is conducting a prefeasibility study on how to improve the management of runoff water from the deck of the Jacques Cartier Bridge and revitalize the land under the structure. By developing the area so that it is a seamless part of its environment, the project will strengthen the urban fabric, increase the amount of vegetated surfaces, and improve pedestrian and bicycle paths. This urban park will generate positive and lasting environmental, social and economic impacts.

“This unifying vision has been a successful and creative collaboration between the federal and municipal governments. A consultation process will be held so that citizens, users and the community can contribute to this reflection on how to develop the area and enhance the iconic nature of the Jacques Cartier Bridge so that we can create a remarkable entrance to the city,” said Mr. Miller.

“This exceptional urban project for Montréalers is a continuation of our work to enhance and revitalize the city core,” added Mr. Coderre. “Creating a prestigious gateway to Montréal, improving the quality of life for residents in neighbouring sectors, and improving pedestrian and bicycle paths between nearby neighbourhoods are all part of our effort to make the downtown area worthy of Montréal’s place in the world.”

Open house and round tables

Citizens are invited to share their ideas on the future of this area on Thursday, April 20, from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., at Cabaret Lion d’Or located at 1676 Ontario Street East. Details are available on the borough’s website, under the « Abords du pont Jacques-Cartier » section at: ville.montreal.qc.ca/villemarie/projetsurbains.