Montreal's Bonaventure Expressway Removal and Redevelopment Earns Recognition

More than one-half mile of elevated expressway was demolished in the heart of downtown Montréal to make way for a spectacular ground-level urban boulevard and over six acres of continuous public space, bookended by two monumental sculptures.

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September 24, 2018, 8:00 AM PDT

By EtienneC


Bonaventure Expressway

FOTOimage Montreal / Shutterstock

For more than 50 years, the elevated Bonaventure Expressway, built in 1966, cut across the city centre of Montréal, a thriving metropolis located on an archipelago in the middle of the majestic St. Lawrence River. This thoroughfare was a major gateway to the downtown core, accommodating more than 27,000 vehicles per day, including 1,900 buses. Rather than extending the service life of the aging structure, the city opted for a large-scale redevelopment, the first one of its kind in Canada, thereby making it possible to:

  • Create an elegant, functional and people-oriented gateway to downtown Montréal
  • Mesh together districts that were isolated by the elevated expressway
  • Support private mixed-use development in the area

This bold initiative, spearheaded entirely by the City’s administration, forms the backbone of the Bonaventure Project which was completed on time and on budget (CAN$141.7 million).

In addition, Montréal was recently named Canada’s first recipient of a SITES certification, awarded by the Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) to honour the excellence demonstrated in implementing the innovative, sustainability-minded best practices that characterize the Bonaventure Project.

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