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City of Montreal – exemplary manager and owner

Municipal process leading to contemporary interventions in a heritage site/  case study: Montreal’s administrative district 

Mathieu Drapeau
Landscape Architect
Department head, Ville de Montréal

Located at the edge of the heritage site of Old Montreal, the body of large and prestigious buildings that form the city’s administrative district is of exceptional local and national interest. The extent, history, civic character and symbolic value of the administrative district make this site a highly significant one in the history of Montreal. Its distinctive urban form and exceptional landscape elements, together with its strategic location overlooking the old town, contribute greatly to the overall image of Old Montreal. In addition to functioning as a point of entry to Old Montreal and as an important landmark for Montréal, the district is also a “city” in its own right, in the sense of an ancient but still dynamic urban centre. It plays a leading role as a space of public representation, and its landscaped areas enhance the urban quality of life.

The City of Montreal has given itself tools and processes (such as its 2005 heritage policy and its 2014-2017 plan for the protection and enhancement of Old Montreal) that have lead to acclaimed and major landscape architecture projects. Focusing on the current project to enhance the Administrative district, this presentation gives an overview of Montreal’s policy for contemporary interventions that are sensitive, well integrated and respectful of the city’s heritage.