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Consolidate the Central Business District (CBD)

The Central Business District (CBD) embodies Montréal’s status as an economic metropolis. It encompasses the majority of the region’s financial, insurance, corporate services and telecommunications activities. More importantly, it includes many activities in the expanding service sector, which makes it a place where important decisions are made. Head offices, international organizations and administrative centres are among the activities found in this area.

A building under constructionThe CBD is also the site from which Montréal asserts itself internationally. Located in the southeast section of the Centre, the Quartier international alone accounts for approximately 80% of the jobs provided by the 67 international organizations established in Montréal.

The Plan specifies the limits of the CBD, where the City’s highest buildings and densest construction are permitted, in order to protect neighbouring areas from undue development pressure (see Illustration 2.3.1). It is estimated that existing vacant lots in the CBD could accommodate more than 900,000 m2 of new office space, which is enough to meet expected growth for the coming construction cycles. Furthermore, a significant portion of the future demand for office space could be met in existing buildings.

Implementation measures

  • Precisely delineate the limits of the CBD and confirm it as the area in which permitted building densities and heights are the highest in Montréal.
  • Support development on vacant lots (see Objective 7).
  • Support residential development in those parts of the CBD that are least suitable for business activity.
  • Redesign some large public spaces and their surroundings.
  • The CBD will be subject to a detailed planning process (see Section 4.10).
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