Reduction of Montrealers’ dependence on fossil energies
For this consultation, the Office offered Montrealers an innovative process, marrying traditional consultation methods with collaborative technologies, thereby achieving a success in participation that reached over 3500 people.Read more
The work of the Office de consultation publique de Montréal is carried out in light of two sections of the Charter of Ville de Montréal, sections 83 and 89. They provide that the Office must hold consultations on mandates it receives according to criteria provided for under the Charter. They also stipulate that the Office must promote best public consultations practices, notably with Montréal authorities.
In 2016, the Office de consultation publique de Montréal completed a consultation initiated in 2015, and undertook and carried out three mandates, as well as two consultation projects to be continued in 2017.
The project completed in 2016 dealt with a very important issue: Montrealers’ dependence on fossil energies. For this consultation, the Office offered Montrealers an innovative process, marrying traditional consultation methods with collaborative technologies, thereby achieving a success in participation that reached over 3500 people.
It was in the wake of requests by a coalition of committed citizens seeking to take advantage of the attention surrounding the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21), scheduled for the end of November 2015 in Paris, that the City asked the OCPM to hold a public consultation on the problem.
The Office then began a process offering everyone user-friendly means to examine their individual and collective choices. Under the theme “Let’s fill up on new energies!” the OCPM relied on the community’s intelligence to identify solutions for Montréal with respect to those issues.
The Office therefore proposed consultation activities conducted in the spirit of crowdsourcing. For the first time, the Office also proposed the testing of an online consultation platform allowing multidirectional discussions among citizens. The online consultation was launched during the information session on October 29, 2015, and the exercise continued until the end of public activities in March 2016.
Other public events were held in the winter of 2016, including a creative marathon in February, where the Office called on technology and environment enthusiasts to identify solutions. After the hearings of opinions in March, the commission drew up its report comprising a series of recommendations addressed to the City as well as its citizens and businesses. The report was made public on June 15, 2016.
Furthermore, three files were undertaken and completed in 2016. The first was carried out in cooperation with the Bureau des relations internationales of the Ville de Montréal and involved a consultation exercise aimed at developing a new international relations strategy. Some 15 meetings were organized, bringing together participants from all sectors of Montréal life with activities or missions comprising an international component. More than 100 people were reached. A summary of the discussions that were held was presented to the Bureau.
Area neighbouring the Turcot interchange - St-Henri Ouest, Émard, Côte-Saint-Paul
This upstream consultation involved a vast planning exercise for a large area neighbouring the Turcot interchange.Read more
The second file involved a vast planning exercise for a large area neighbouring the Turcot interchange. Under the theme “Beyond the construction: rethinking the neighbourhoods,” a series of activities and meetings were held to solicit the advice of residents and organizations of the neighbourhoods of Saint-Henri Ouest, Émard and Côte-Saint-Paul on what should become of this important section of the Sud-Ouest borough.
More than 2200 people responded to the online questionnaire, participated in the creative workshops and thematic round tables, or followed the public information sessions. Moreover, the commission received 35 briefs and oral presentations during the hearing of opinions period.
Numerous subjects were addressed and the commission received a significant number of quality opinions. Local organizations submitted briefs and actively participated in the various activities. Following those contributions, the commission proposed the vision of an environment inspired by a rich history and turned resolutely towards the future. An environment with a responsible, open and dynamic future, an environment well ensconced in sustainable development, an environment that has managed to lessen the inevitable inconveniences of having highways running through the city. A green environment, having tempered heat islands through massive greening that will make it a model, an example of how to minimize the presence of invasive infrastructures. An environment having resolved the under-provision of healthy products, and developed active and collective transportation. An environment where young and old, local traditional populations and new arrivals, workers of the 2.0 world and those of more traditional factories and industrial workshops harmoniously co-exist. An environment comprising various types of housing meeting the needs of a diverse population. An environment with more common denominators than divisions. The review of the commission’s report should lead the borough to draw up a formal document, a PDUES (urban, economic and social development program), which should be examined by the Office. Such a process belongs upstream of any project to be undertaken by the borough. The territory covered by the future PDUES is transected by several metropolitan infrastructures undergoing major work, such as the Turcot interchange and Highway 15, or enclosing it, such as the Lachine Canal and Canadian National (CN) railway track.
Real estate project on the former site of the Franciscan convent
The third file involved the analysis of a real estate project on the former site of the Franciscan convent.Read more
The third file involved the analysis of a real estate project on the former site of the Franciscan convent on René-Lévesque Boulevard West. The project consists of 360 housing units and 210 parking spaces on the Franciscan land located at 1980 to 2080 René-Lévesque West, at the southern edge of the Quartier des grands jardins, adjacent to the Saint-Jacques cliff. Two 60-metre-high twin towers on a common basilaire are planned for the site of the former Franciscan convent, which was demolished in 2010 after a fire.
The project also calls for the preservation of the Judah and Masson houses located on either side of the towers, as well as their accommodations and gardens. Lastly, two parks totalling 3363 square metres would be built by the developer and then transferred to the City.
More than 200 participants attended the public consultation meetings, where 50 expressed their opinions, and 42 briefs were filed. The interventions made it possible to fully grasp the issues and challenges involved in the project, in terms of its descriptive elements, integration and impact on the neighbourhood.
The Office believes that the planned change of vocation is acceptable and that it may help to establish the necessary conditions to consolidate the residential function of the neighbourhood and enhance its diversity. However, the interventions brought to light a great deal of disappointment on the part of citizens as to the project’s ability to play a role in the realization of major commitments in the Special Planning Program (SPP) for the Quartier des grands jardins, adopted in May 2012, notably in terms of offering green spaces and community equipment adapted to the needs of families, young people and seniors in the neighbourhood.
The citizens’ concerns are well-founded and the project would only be acceptable if the borough was to set up additional green spaces as soon as possible and ensure that needs for community spaces and collective equipment are met in future projects developed in the neighbourhood.
An upstream public consultation which provides a vision for the future and strategic orientations for downtown Montréal for the next 15 years.Read more
The Office has also undertaken the examination of another project to be completed in 2017: the examination of the proposed Downtown Strategy, which provides a vision for the future and strategic orientations for downtown Montréal for the next 15 years.
It aims to direct urban growth towards the heart of the metropolitan area by making downtown a more accessible place where one can enjoy life, work, school and entertainment. It plans to optimize the area’s development potential by prioritizing investment in public and active transportation, promoting access to family housing and local services, and enhancing the downtown area’s predominant role in the metropolitan economy.
Following the consultation, the City will draw up an action plan proposing targeted initiatives that will impact the vitality and development of downtown.
The consultation brought about a number of meetings and activities. The first meeting, the “Grand rendez-vous du centre-ville,” was held on Sunday, September 25, at Place des Arts’ Salon urbain. Numerous ideas and projects that will shape the downtown of tomorrow were presented, and the day ended with a formal information meeting on the Downtown Strategy and a public question period. Some 800 people took part in the activity.
The day was followed by four thematic meetings to exchange ideas and offer suggestions involving issues such as transportation, the economy, and neighbourhood life. Several hundred people attended the meetings.
Furthermore, throughout the month of September, citizens were also invited to fill out an online questionnaire, available in both English and French. Close to 2000 people did so.
The hearing of opinions began on November 3. Virtual participation was also made possible through a second online questionnaire. More than 100 people took advantage of the opportunity to share their opinions with the commission.
Training and information activities
The year 2016 also saw the realization of activities related to the promotion of best practices, which is included in the mandate of the Office.Read more
Institut de développement urbain (IDU), for its members and real estate developers.
The meeting focused on the best ways to prepare for a public consultation with the Office.
Training session for commissioners
It dealt with two issues: the City’s Strategy for the inclusion of affordable housing, and results obtained by using new technologies in public consultations.
The Office also participated on two occasions in an operation promoting the City’s consultation practices, organized by the city council’s Bureau de la présidence. The activity, dubbed the “Democracy Caravan,” allows a neighbourhood’s citizens to learn about the City’s public consultation mechanisms and to talk with the people in charge.