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Olympic Complex and Village

General goals

  • Intensify and diversify activities in the area, particularly in terms of recreation and tourism, while ensuring their integration into the surrounding urban fabric and landscape
  • Improve the overall image of the area and allow for a more pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly environment
  • Protect and enhance the built and landscape heritage elements of the area

Planning issues

Designed as an architectural ensemble devoted to sports, the Olympic Complex forms an important recreational and tourist destination in the City together with the Botanical Garden and Maisonneuve Park. Its unique architecture and heritage value, well-known to Montrealers, give it international renown. The numerous views of the Olympic Stadium and Village from different points in the City also contribute to their importance.

The uses of the Olympic Complex have evolved in recent years, as the demand for professional sports facilities has declined. Thus, the former Velodrome was converted into the Biodome in 1992 and a movie theatre opened at the site in 2000. The Stadium tower has also been refitted to create office space. However, consideration must still be given to improving the other underused parts of the planning area, such as the 4,719 parking spaces of the Olympic Complex. This should be carried out while respecting the landscapes of the Botanical Garden and Maisonneuve Park, which require interventions to add new wooded areas.

The surroundings of the Olympic Village also offer strong potential for residential development. However, the monumentality of the pyramids, the visual clearance between the buildings and the adjacent golf course and the presence of woods (a grove of red oaks, rare in Montréal) are all features well worth preserving.

The Olympic Complex, meant to accommodate tens of thousands of people, includes large, empty grass and concrete spaces. These are located near metro stations and require enhancement in order to increase activity in the area and to make the Complex safer, more attractive and more welcoming.

The accessibility of the Olympic Complex must be reviewed, as there are no clearly defined access routes to the centre of the site for vehicles or pedestrians. Intervention is also required for the interface between the Complex and adjacent environments. The heavy road traffic and design of the streets around the site undermine the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. The lack of diversified activities on these arteries reduces pedestrian activity and affects the image of the Olympic Complex.

The detailed planning effort must take into account the need to improve the links between the Botanical Garden, Maisonneuve Park, the adjacent living environments and the Olympic Complex. It is also important that modern heritage, such as the Stadium and the Olympic Village, be preserved and enhanced.