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Master Plan > Part 1 > Chapter 2 > 2.3 - 1/2
A prestigious, convivial and inhabited Centre

Montréal’s Centre is that well-known part of the City that includes its historic heart, the old faubourgs and the adjacent neighbourhoods. It is home to most of the important metropolitan functions on which the public transportation, rail and road networks converge. Despite its vast renown, the Centre’s relatively small territory can easily be toured on foot (see Map 2.3.1).

The Centre is the primary employment pole of the metropolis and the principal place of business activity in Québec. It houses over sixty prestigious international organizations that contribute to Montréal’s international profile, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association, the World Anti-Doping Agency, the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, etc.

With its universities, cégeps and hospitals, the Centre hosts a major concentration of academic and research activity. It is the setting for most of Québec’s major cultural and media events and is among the City’s main tourist destinations. Many public and private cultural production and distribution companies are located there, including those housed at the Cité des ondes.

Vibrant and lively, the Centre’s various neighbourhoods each have their own personality, which makes for a stimulating visitor experience. Most of these areas are also well established living environments, which keeps them active even after offices and stores close.

Mount Royal and the St. Lawrence River are the natural boundaries of the Centre to the north and south, forming an exceptional backdrop that is inseparable from the City’s image. The Havre area, which extends from the Champlain Bridge to the Jacques-Cartier Bridge and encompasses Île Sainte-Hélène and Île Notre-Dame as well as the Old Port, is the Centre’s window on the river. This area, along with Mount Royal, will be subject to a detailed planning process whose guidelines are described in Chapter 4. The detailed planning process for the Havre area will be in keeping with the work carried out by the Société du Havre.

Montréal’s Centre benefits from such valuable advantages as its prestige, its liveability and its conviviality. The Plan bases the Centre’s development on three objectives, which emphasize and reinforce these specific features:

5 Enhance the Centre's metropolitan, national and international vocation.
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6 Increase the Centre’s residential vitality.
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7 Strengthen the Centre’s coherence and overall urban character.
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