Champ-de-Mars area

Last updated October 22, 2021
Reading time: 2 min

Development projects in the Champ-de-Mars area are the result of a participatory effort designed to create a meeting point between downtown and Vieux-Montréal and to transform the area beside the Autoroute Ville-Marie. Learn how this vision is becoming a reality.

Located in Ville-Marie, the Champ-de-Mars area is bordered by Boulevard René-Lévesque to the north, Rue Atateken to the east, Rue Notre-Dame to the south and Rue De Bleury to the west. It is undergoing a complete transformation, and welcomes thousands of visitors and workers each day.

Partially located within the site patrimonial de Montréal, at the entrance of the Cité administrative and at the centre of major Montréal institutions, the area has a strong identity, marked by a diversified urban landscape in which the historical evolution of Montréal is visible.

The Secteur Champ-de-Mars project encompasses a series of actions designed to define an attractive and high quality urban form.


The main objective of this urban project is to revitalize the Champs-de-Mars area. This includes changing the role of public spaces to reduce the impact of the highway and to facilitate pedestrian and bicycle movement, and by enhancing the attractions in the area.

This objective is based on five general planning principles:

  • Appropriation of the area by its users
  • User-friendly transportation hubs
  • Quality of urban design
  • Enhancement of the rich and diversified heritage
  • Focus on public monuments


In the 1970s, construction of the Autoroute Ville-Marie created a significant rupture between Vieux-Montréal and downtown. Construction of the Palais des congrès in 1984 and the Centre de commerce mondial in 1992, followed by creation of the Quartier international de Montréal in 2000 provided a partial repair of this urban fracture, by covering up portions of the highway.

In 2017, another portion of the autoroute, around the Champs-de-Mars metro station, was covered by the Ministère des Transports (MTQ) as a contribution by the Québec government to celebrate the 375th anniversary of the founding of Montréal. In addition, the MTQ created a transitional public space, Place des Montréalaises, awaiting a definitive design by the city.

With the intensification of use in this area due to private real estate projects and construction of CHUM (the Université de Montréal teaching hospital), the need for modifications to the environment to support pedestrian and cyclist mobility became apparent.

Images of the district’s transformation

View images of the district’s evolution since 1928.

Projects in the area

In addition to redevelopment of areas around CHUM and CRCHUM, designed to improve the environment for pedestrians and other users, major development projects have been included in the Secteur Champ-de-Mars project.

To go further, view the interactive project website (in French).

An on-going citizen process

One feature of the Secteur du Champ-de-Mars project is that it is based on a citizen consultation and co-operation process, which feeds the project team’s reflections and promotes appropriation of the project by citizens.

The citizen participation approach was developed to provide venues for discussion, which allow everyone to contribute. Co-design studios were held in 2014 and 2015 to define a vision for the area and the role of the future public space, to be located near the metro station. This major step built consensus among the different stakeholders and their vision was integrated into an international landscape architecture competition, held in 2017 and 2018.

A jury, a majority of whose members were women, accompanied competition participants and then chose the four finalists and, finally, the winning team.

In 2021, exploratory walks were held with individual women and women’s groups including the Conseil des Montréalaises. Using intersectional gender analysis (ADS+), the project was refined and certain aspects were added to address issues for people with vulnerabilities or physical restrictions.