Improving coexistence with worksites in Montréal

May 10, 2021

The Bureau du design is making a guide to use of the Boîte à outils pour mieux informer, délimiter et diriger sur un chantier (toolkit for better informing, delimiting and directing on worksites) available online to coincide with adoption of the Charte des chantiers montréalais

The purpose of the toolkit is to improve the visual and functional quality of spatial planning in the vicinity of worksites in Montréal. Its various components are the outcome of close collaboration with the city’s Communications department as well as its Infrastructure and Roads department, with input from designers in several disciplines (industrial design, graphic design and service design).

The tools—banners on fencing, signage and wayfinding elements, as well as information modules—were designed to address recurrent needs on all public works sites under the city’s responsibility. The formats and materials were developed to be consistent with the visual identity of Montréal, and optimized into a system that improves user experience through creation of clear, safe pathways, while at the same time facilitating the management and operation of worksites.

By doing away with case-by-case responses, the tools help rationalize the costs of mitigating municipal worksite impacts and also make it easier to distinguish between municipal sites and those of other project managers active in the city (e.g., the STM transit authority, the provincial ministry of transport, private developers).

The approach developed targets three areas of action:

  • Informing / to better inform Montrealers about the nature of the work and the project:
    • Site characteristics (nature of the work, timetable, budget);
    • Future project;
    • Project context (e.g., historical, environmental).
  • Delimiting / to better circumscribe the work area:
    • Construction area;
    • Contractor's storage area;
    • User traffic areas.
  • Directing / to better direct users and make it easier for them to access various services:
    • Directions in the vicinity of the site (e.g., parking, delivery);
    • Routes in the immediate vicinity of the site (pedestrians);
    • Access to retail spaces, buildings and services.

The action strategies explained in the guide provide inspiration to construction industry stakeholders in Montréal for creating more user-friendly and attractive areas around worksites all across the metropolitan region.

The Boîte à outils pour mieux informer, délimiter et diriger sur un chantier is the culmination of various research and design initiatives on this topic, including:

The colloquium Unsitely! – Leveraging Design to Improve Urban Construction Sites (2014);
The Sainte-Cath Works – To minimize the impact of the public works on Sainte-Catherine Street West design competition (2016);
The Better Insight, Onsite - Creation of Worksite Information Modules design competition (2017).


  • Design and development of the information module : PARA-SOL
  • Development of the graphic grid of the information modules : PAPRIKA
  • Design and development of the signage and wayfinding elements : PRINCIPAL
  • Design and development of the signage attachment system: DIKINI