Montreal

Montreal reveals full plans for Viger Square makeover

The City of Montreal unveiled the full scope of its plans for a revamped Viger Square on Sunday as part of a public information session on its long-term strategy for downtown Montreal.

Play areas, sprawling lawns and a café all part of city's plan to return square to 'former glory'

Conceptual plans for the next phase of the Viger Square makeover includes a play area for kids that includes a skate park and basketball court. (City of Montreal)

The City of Montreal unveiled the full scope of its plans for a revamped Viger Square on Sunday as part of a public information session on its long-term strategy for downtown Montreal.

Work began in 2015 on phase one of the $28-million project and is scheduled for completion for spring 2017 in time for Montreal's 375th anniversary celebrations.

On Sunday, the city provided new details about this opening phase and revealed its concept for two additional sections.

All in all, the new square will cover a roughly 30,000 square metre area.

A view of Viger Square from up above. (Radio-Canada)

Skate park, classical lawns and a café

The new section at the eastern end of the square will feature a large play area for kids with a basketball court, skateboard park and a variety of play structures.

The adjacent section to its west will feature what planner Mathieu Drapeau described as "a more classical look," featuring wide lawns with large trees. That phase will also see artist Claude Théberge's fountain sculpture Force renovated and given new prominence.

Emerging details about the project's first phase include plans for a café-restaurant near the corner of St-Denis and Viger streets and the restoration of 18 concrete pergolas from artist Charles Daudelin's Agora sculpture along with his Mastodon sculpture.

"We really wanted to respect Daudelin's global vision for the square while bringing it up to date," Drapeau said.

Earlier plans to demolish Daudelin's sculpture were met with outrage from the artist's family and led the city to reconsider.

A model of the Viger Square makeover details the new sections at the eastern end of the park. (Stephen Smith / CBC)

In a news release, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre called the undertaking a "major transformation" that will put a friendlier, more inviting face on the long-neglected square.

"These efforts will help this iconic square regain its former glory for the benefit of all its users," he said.   

Drapeau said he's confident the area has enough residents who will make use of the renovated park, pointing to the Faubourg Québec, Gare Viger and other residential projects underway in the area.

"The number of residents is rising every year, and it's far from over," he said.

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