Accès jardins

Last updated April 26, 2021

The Accès jardin program was designed to meet a growing need for parks and green spaces in Ville-Marie, and to foster the resilience of the population and the territory in the context of climate change.



While there are many public squares in and around the downtown area, parks and public green spaces for recreation and leisure are scarce, despite the growing population. This is surprising given that the downtown area not only draws large numbers of visitors, but is also one of the most densely populated areas in North America.

The pressure on green spaces has accentuated due to the growing number of construction sites in Ville-Marie. In addition, the borough is contending with major heat islands coupled with heat waves that have an impact on residents’ health and quality of life.

These considerations have led Ville-Marie to implement the Accès jardin program.

Nature of the program

Given the shortage of public land and the pressing need for oases where people can cool off, Ville-Marie is proposing to take action and invest in the private sector to improve the supply of quality green spaces.

The deployment model of the Accès jardin program involves forming partnerships between the borough and private and/or institutional property owners. Under long-term contractual agreements with partners, Ville-Marie can thus develop, stage activities on, maintain and network, in whole or in part, the site in question, for the entire duration of the agreement.

The agreements notably concern the development of the sites, the conditions of use, occupancy, maintenance and cost sharing. They are concluded and ratified by the decision-making bodies of the two partners, according to terms and conditions adapted to the specific context of each of the sites targeted by the program.


General objectives

The Accès jardin program is part of Ville-Marie’s efforts to increase the supply of green spaces available to the public in dense urban areas. The creation of “oases” accessible to all contributes not only to residents’ health and well-being, but will also satisfy needs related to leisure and cultural activities. These facilities and their networking foster the resilience of populations and the territory, which is essential in the context of climate change.

Specific objectives 

To ensure the coherence of the projects and to increase their positive impact on the population, specific objectives have been identified. Thus, the developments that take place on the sites targeted by the Accès jardin program are an opportunity to:

  • Improve the provision of green spaces in order to create a positive impact on residents’ quality of life and on the environment, at both the local and municipal levels
  • Enhance the offer of leisure and cultural activities and add to the vitality of the site while promoting the partner’s educational or other roles
  • Highlight the natural, architectural, historical or heritage qualities of the land, buildings and sites covered by the program
  • Ensure connectivity between public and private spaces by creating green routes and links 
  • Ensure that pedestrians can move about safely while promoting intermodality and the use of active transport and public transit modes
  • Ensure universal accessibility of facilities
  • Increase greening and the canopy index as well as biodiversity and stormwater management
  • Apply ecological transition principles to each of the elements that make up the landscaping and landscape architecture of the site (furniture, lighting, plants, etc.).

The Accès jardin program includes the implementation of urban and landscape design, installation of furniture, lighting upgrades, and addition of cultural and recreational facilities, while addressing social and environmental issues.

Site eligibility criteria

In order for a site to qualify for the program, and thus receive an investment for development from the borough as part of the “garden access” program, it must satisfy certain criteria. The site in question must be:

  • Private property
  • Intended for public-private rather than exclusively private use
  • Able to be used for 25 years or more
  • Accessible, which means located near active transport and public transit.

Roles and responsibilities of stakeholders

To ensure the sustainability of the developments and investments, the partners shall agree on the roles and responsibilities, and on the terms and conditions. 

The borough’s responsibilities can be summarized as follows:

  • Ensure the coordination of design, consultation, production of plans and specifications, along with implementation of the work and its commissioning
  • Proceed with the development of the site in accordance with the objectives and criteria of the program
  • Ensure that the quality of the installations is maintained
  • Maintain the integrity and safety of the premises
  • Offer a showcase for the sites registered in the Accès jardin network
  •  Respect the terms of the agreement negotiated with the stakeholders.


The site owner(s) responsibilities’ are:

  • Provide access to all or part of the site in keeping with the terms and conditions of the agreement
  •  Agree on the uses and programming according to the public purpose of the site
  •  Allow the site to be integrated in the Accès jardin network and allow the installation of related signage
  •   Respect the terms of the agreement negotiated with the stakeholders.

Terms and conditions of agreements

The terms and conditions of the agreements, including those that are contextual, are discussed between the partners and focus on, but are not limited to:

  • Investment amount
  • Nature of transformations and developments
  • Phasing of developments and timelines
  • Management of space and installations (maintenance, snow removal, inspection, etc.)
  • Hours of access and public accessibility
  • Terms of renewal of the agreement and tacit renewal
  • Use of various expert opinions
  • Management of activity program (private or public events staged on the site)
  • Marketing, promotion, signage and place names
  • Mode of communication between the partners

Submit an application

Applications must be sent by email.

For more information: [email protected]