Construction fever around the Bell Centre

I happened to be walking by the Bell Centre this morning and with all the construction taking place in the vicinity, I thought I should take a few pictures to record the area before 5 new towers begin to rise from the holes in the ground.

The 50-storey high Tour des Canadiens was announced last summer and is located where the Centennial Plaza was opened in 2008 as part of the hockey clubs 100th anniversary. Last month it was announced that all the elements of the plaza (including the thousands of bricks purchased and personalized by fans) will be moved to the other side of the Bell Center at Windsor Court, between the Bell Centre and Windsor Station. Canadiens owner Geoff Molson also announced that the club will be paying for a new set of bricks with the original inscriptions of fans due to the risk of damage in moving and storing them. I’m glad I did a post of the Centennial Plaza last year and look forward to seeing the new site when opened.

I found a good vantage point from the top of the temporary staircase that was built to service the adjacent Lucien l’Allier train station during construction. The footprint seems pretty small for what will become the second tallest building in Montreal when completed in 2015 – but I guess in skyscraper wars – height is what matters.

Site of the Tour des Canadiens

Site of the Tour des Canadiens
ISO 100 – 10mm – f4.5 – 1/125 sec (-2ev/0/+2ev)

Directly opposite (just south of Boulevard René-Lévesque) is the construction site for what will be 3 towers on where a parking lot used to stand.

On the south side directly opposite the Bell Centre, L’Avenue Condos will be another 50-storey condo tower that is due for completion at the end of 2014. On the North side of what was the parking lot will be the Roccabella Condos. The twin towers will each be of 40 floors and will be completed in 2015.

A view soon to disappear

A view soon to disappear
ISO 100 – 10mm – f4.5 – 1/500 sec (-2ev/0/+2ev)

Blvd René-Lévesque

Blvd René-Lévesque
ISO 100 – 14mm – f6.3 – 1/320 sec

 

Blvd René-Lévesque

Blvd René-Lévesque
ISO 100 – 10mm – f20 – 1/100 sec

The final construction site in the city block is the Deloitte Tower. Interestingly this is Montreal’s first new privately owned and financed commercial office tower to be built since 1992. Rio Tinto Alcan Zinc recently announced they would be moving their headquarters into the top 8 floors of the 26-storey tower.

Construction site of the Deloitte Tower

Construction site of the Deloitte Tower
ISO 100 – 10mm – f6.3 – 1/100 sec

I took another shot of the site down on rue Saint-Antoine. While playing around processing I realized the crane and the arm of the concrete pumping truck resembled a giant stickman. I ended up processing as a pseudo infra-red to make the stick guy stand out more…

Invasion of the giant stickmen

Invasion of the giant stickmen
ISO 100 – 10mm – f4.5 – 1/800 sec (-2ev/0/+2ev)

 

This area of the city is certainly going to look a lot different in a few years time…The developer behind both the Tour des Canadiens and Deloitte Tower- Cadillac Fairview – plans to invest up to $2 billion over the next 15 years to transform the area surrounding the Bell Centre , so this is just the beginning.

For an idea of the changes we will see in 2 years, here are the 4 building designs related to the construction sites above:

Tour des Canadiens

Tour des Canadiens

 

 L’Avenue

L’Avenue

 

 

Roccabella

Roccabella

Deloitte Tower

Deloitte Tower

 

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.

- Martin

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4 Comments

  1. HoaiPhai July 18, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    Wow… it’s been years since I’ve been in Montreal and it looks like it’s changed so much I would need my GPS to figure out were I was and where to go. What do you think about all the changes that have gone on in recent years, like around the Atwater market? Do you see these changes as positive or just change for change’s (and profit’s) sake?

    • Montreal in Pictures July 18, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

      I live here and need a GPS ;-) Good question regarding all the changes. I’m all for development if it adds to the area. With regards to the area around the Bell Centre, since it’s largely taking the place of what was an ugly car parking lot this is great and for a change a couple of the designs do look interesting. The development I’m not happy about is what is happening in Griffintown. Some really nice old buildings have been demolished to make way for what look like extremely ordinary bland condo towers. A big problem as well is the fact there are few family and low cost housing units being built in the area – the City really missed a great opportunity with Griffintown – but that’s just my pov.

  2. Claude July 18, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

    There is a rendering of each building separately. Is there any rendering of what the entire area will look like once all of them are built?

    • Montreal in Pictures July 18, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

      I did try and search for an artist rendering of the area, but to no avail. It would be great to see a 3D model on Google maps. The funny thing is that if you look at each of the development company sites, neither shows the neighboring development. If I do find anything I’ll be sure to post as I plan following the development of this area over the coming years.