A baseball stadium or accommodation for families?

In the whole baseball stadium debate – should the baseball stadium be subsidized or not? -, there are questions that we never deal with. In particular its planned location: the Peel basin in the Bridge-Bonaventure sector. Wouldn’t that space be more useful if it were reserved for affordable housing for the families of people who work downtown?

The City of Montreal set up a Table de concertation du sector Bridge-Bonaventure following the report of the Office de consultation publique de Montréal published in February 2020. In its report, the OCPM recommends (in point 41): around the Peel basin, a mixed residential complex, with high density, but on a human scale, endowed with local shops and services, collective facilities and integrating the targets of social, affordable and family housing.

Among the members of the Table de concertation, there are many organizations that support this recommendation. We have very much in mind, just across the canal, the anarchic development of Griffintown which has made no room for parks, schools, or community spaces, resulting in an uninterrupted series of towers. of condominiums along the Lachine Canal and stretching from it to Saint-Jacques Street. Do we really want to do the same on the other side of the canal?

There is so little space left for families in Montreal and downtown, the Peel Basin should urgently be dedicated to them. We already have everything we need in condominiums. A baseball stadium would requisition a precious and rare space on the edge of the basin, with a blind facade on the canal (what is the point?) And would hinder the installation of families in the area. It is a landlocked sector between the Lachine Canal and a railway line to the north and another railway line to the south. How do you evacuate the tens of thousands of people who leave a baseball stadium after the game? Wouldn’t it be wiser to install the new stadium, if it is absolutely necessary (which is not obvious with the presence of the Olympic stadium), on the site of the hippodrome?

The Bridge-Bonaventure sector is the last space near downtown that can still allow young families to stay close to their workplaces, to enjoy the beauty of the Lachine Canal and the St. Lawrence River. Madam Mayor, please give your precious attention as much to organizations concerned about the scarcity of social housing as to Mr. Bronfman and to baseball and Montreal condominium fans.

Please, a little long-term vision towards a more equitable sharing of Montreal spaces!

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