The future Place des Montréalaises

Last updated March 24, 2022
Reading time: 2 min

Located beside the Champ-de-Mars metro station, Place des Montréalaises will transform the urban landscape by connecting downtown to Vieux-Montréal. Learn about this new gateway to Vieux-Montréal.

A tribute to women at the heart of the design

An international multidisciplinary landscape architecture competition (see information in French here)  was the origin of the future Place des Montréalaises. Unveiled in 2018, the winning design features a vegetated slope which will repair the scar left by construction of Autoroute Ville-Marie.

Developed by the team of Lemay, Angela Silver and SNC-Lavalin, the concept includes three components: A floral meadow on the inclined plane of the belvedere, a mirror-piece paying tribute to 21 Montréal women, and a stairway enhancing the stained glass panels by Marcelle Ferron in the Champ-de-Mars metro station.

On one side of the Miroir des Montréalaises will be the names of the 14 victims of the femicide at the École polytechnique, while the other side will name seven women pioneers of the metropolis, from different fields and different eras:

  • Myra Cree (1937-2005) – Culture and communications - A Mohawk Indigenous woman who was a leader in communications, in particular by becoming the first woman to be a news anchor on the Téléjournal program (Radio-Canada)
  • Jessie Maxwell-Smith (1920-2000) – Education and social development - Little Burgundy teacher who helped ensure Montréal’s Black community had access to quality education.
  • Agnès Vautier (1896-1976) – Sports and recreation - a player for the unbeatable Western Hockey Team in 1917.
  • Ida Roth Steinberg (1885-1942) – Business and economy, business person, Hungarian-Jewish immigrant who founded the first Steinberg grocery store.
  • Idola Saint-Jean (1880-1945) – Democracy and society - Québec feminist and activist for women’s right to vote.
  • Harriet Brooks (1876-1933) – Science and education - first Canadian woman to become a nuclear physicist.
  • Jeanne Mance (1606-1673) – Health and administration - cofounder of the Ville-Marie

Project benefits 

In addition to being a major pedestrian corridor, this new public space will offer a green setting, a place to stop, meet with others, and for contemplation. Following public co-creation activities held in 2014-2015, a pilot project incorporating intersectional gender analysis (ADS+) will promote inclusion of all the area’s population groups.

The project is designed to:

  • Link the metro station with the Cité Administrative via a universally accessible connection
  • Provide a determinative gateway for Vieux-Montréal
  • Offer Montrealers a space extending over more than two hectares
  • Increase vegetation downtown, with the planning of a hundred trees
  • Affirm Montréal as a UNESCO City of Design
  • Offer vista points for the city, and highlight the area’s urban landscapes and built heritage

Work will begin in spring 2022 and continue to the end of 2024, with the official unveiling scheduled for 2025.

The project in images

Enhancing the Champ-de-Mars area 

In the heart of downtown and Vieux-Montréal, the Champ-de-Mars area is the site of several projects. They include new designs for Place Vauquelin and Square Viger, restoration of city hall and its site, construction of CHUM/CRCHUM and modifications to adjacent streets, preservation of Place Marie-Josèphe-Angélique and the creation of the new Place des Montréalaises.