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Strengthen the Centre’s retail vitality

A Montréal street in winterThe Centre’s retail activity revolves around Sainte-Catherine, one of the busiest commercial streets in North America. Old Montréal, the Quartier du Musée, the Bishop-Crescent area, the Quartier chinois and the Quartier latin contribute to this activity with their sizeable clienteles. The diversity of goods and services offered and the availability of highly specialized products are distinctive features of the Centre’s retail presence.

This activity takes the form of department stores and malls along Sainte-Catherine, along with hundreds of smaller stores and businesses on adjacent streets. It is embedded in other urban functions and closely linked to the street, both benefiting from and contributing to the lively atmosphere. Access to these stores by public transportation is easy. In fact, many of them are connected to Montréal’s public transportation system through the indoor pedestrian network.

The Plan stresses the importance of maintaining the features which support the Centre’s special retail function. It also seeks to consolidate the structure of its main commercial streets and ensure that businesses are laid out in a way that maximizes their interaction with the street.

Implementation measures

  • Ensure adherence to the principles governing the design of commercial streets, aimed at increasing the interaction between stores, public spaces and other activities
    (see Objective 13).
  • Consolidate the Centre’s main commercial streets (see Illustration 2.3.2), on which:
    • All buildings must ensure street-level retail continuity through the integration of businesses with direct access at street-level;
    • Malls must provide retail spaces that fit into the street’s existing retail fabric.
  • When calculating building density, exclude the floor area of ground-floor businesses accessible from Rue Sainte-Catherine, as shown on illustration 2.3.3.
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