Smith Promenade Urban Design Competition

Come explore the Peel-Wellington neighbourhood and learn more about the designers’ approach

Montréal, February 29, 2012 – The Ville de Montréal invites members of the public to explore the area around Rue Smith and attend the presentations by the four finalists in the cross-Canada urban design competition to develop the Smith Promenade, in the Peel-Wellington district of the Griffintown neighbourhood. These two activities mark the conclusion of the second stage of the design competition, during which the finalists, selected last December, have been hard at work refining their proposals. They will allow citizens to get a better idea of the designers’ approaches, and familiarize themselves with the neighbourhood. 

Guided tour of Griffintown

To allow Montrealers to gain a better understanding of the site the designers have been working on, the City has organized guided tours to be held on March 17 and 24. These walking tours will lead participants through the streets of Griffintown, with a special focus on the current Rue Smith corridor and the route it formerly followed. The tours will be presented by L’Autre Montréal, a group well known for designing and hosting historical tours in Montréal. 

Finalists’ presentations to the jury

On March 26, the City invites citizens to attend the finalist firms’ presentations to the jury members. This part of a design competition usually takes place behind closed doors, so this is an exceptional opportunity for members of the public to see the work accomplished by these talented practitioners and be privileged witnesses to a crucial step in such competitions.

How to register

These activities are presented free of charge, but registration is mandatory for both. To register, follow this link:

About the competition

In November 2011, the Ville de Montréal instituted a Canada-wide urban design competition to develop Rue Smith, located in the Peel-Wellington district of the Griffintown neighbourhood. The area encompasses the length of Rue Smith running from the railway arches at Rue Ann to the Lachine Canal, and including Gallery Square.

Through this competition, Montréal, in its capacity as a UNESCO City of Design, seeks to stimulate new ideas and promote creative approaches to the redevelopment of the Smith Promenade.

The Rue Smith redevelopment project is part of a series of actions begun by the Ville de Montréal more than two decades ago to enhance the living environment in the city’s central core and surrounding areas. It aims to breathe new life into a neighbourhood of great significance from the standpoints of both built heritage and city planning, address the deficit of public spaces in an area in the midst of renewal, and ensure the comfort and safety of pedestrians. The project is in keeping with the stated directions of the Peel-Wellington Special Planning Program (SPP), adopted in 2008, i.e., repurposing of the Ville de Montréal’s public spaces, showcasing of the area’s heritage character, and re-establishment of connections to neighbouring districts.

The finalists’ proposals will be judged by a seven-member jury, which includes a representative of Griffintown residents as well as professionals in architecture and design from Montréal, Toronto and New York City. The name of the winning firm will be announced in April 2012.

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François Goneau

Public Affairs Division
514 868-5859