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The Great Condo Battle. “Le Square” vs “La Catherine”

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Center Canadian Architecture Museum, a short walk from home towards Rene Levesque Blvd, to the South of our building. 

Our little neighborhood, being billed as Shaughnessey Village, has been on a growth spurt these past few years. Every available space has been bought up and new builds are going up.

This, “more than ten year revitalization project” has turned our little, run down, needs to be refurbished portion of Western downtown into a new jewel of the city.

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The old Seville Theatre which sat on the North side of Ste Catherines Street, just a block from home, was knocked down over a year ago, and three condo buildings went up, simply named “The Seville Project.” On the ground floor is an Adonis halal grocery store.

Adonis gave the Provigo a run for its money, and in February, Provigo breathed its last breath and shut down. Provigo was right downstairs. Now a car dealership sits in that space. I’m not sure there is much of a market for new cars, seeing that there is not much room to park, with meters, and terraces all along the strip close to home.

Cabot Square was closed for a year. (Read: The park that runs along the old Children’s Hospital), which has since been closed and moved to the new Glenn Site at Vendome Metro. Cabot Square has been open a while now, having new surface and updated Metro Kiosk, and seating for the people who come.

In the past six to eight months, two condos are in the process of “Build.”

Le Square, directly across the street from Cabot Square. They knocked down a gas station and the end cap old Burger King building that had sat derelict, empty and boarded up for years. They were no great loss to the neighborhood.

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In the background, Le Square. With the grey tower crane. They have been working around the clock on this build. They are pouring a floor a week at this point. Last night, they finished the eighth floor, and worked all night, setting the ninth floor forms in, read columns and elevator casing. Le Square, will be 15 stories when completed, with retail stores on the ground floor. They are working on finishing the lower floors to completion while they pour the upper floors simultaneously.

Sadly, our view of Alexis Nihon Plaza is now obstructed. They spent all that money rebuilding and putting up flashy lights on the building itself. We have enjoyed that view for a while now. NOW, the folks who get to live in Le Square, will be the sole benefactors of that view.

UGH …

In the foreground, closer to the bottom of the photo, is “La Catherine.” The building you see to its immediate right hand side, is the Chinese Consulate building. It houses the consulate, a private apartment on the top floor, with living space and a purpose built game room, with table tennis and a pool table. We can watch the action from our balcony.

La Catherine will be a sixteen floor building. Reported for delivery in the Summer of 2017.

This building is going up, in the same footprint as the prior “Omer DeSerres” art supply shop. They have moved to the ground floor (read: Metro Level) at Alexis Nihon Plaza up the street from home.

La Catherine, has not been on a speedy build timeline. It seems that they are taking their time, or the build is proving to be complicated, because you see the Yellow Build Crane to the Left of Frame.

The only access to the building is on Rue Tupper, (far left). Most everything that must be brought to site, comes down a residential street, blocking traffic at all hours of the day and night.

If need be, they can bring trucks down Ste Catherine’s Street on the North side of the build. But that only hampers traffic on a very busy trafficked thoroughfare.

There is ONE alleyway, that will connect Rue Tupper, with the parking garage access point on La Catherine. This is the only vehicle access point to the building.

The only other access point is the alley that runs from Rue Du Fort (the street we live on), underneath the adjacent condo, behind the low buildings just up / West from our building. You can see a portion of that alley in the build photo above. This is one way they are getting cement trucks to the build site. And they are running them down Rue Tupper.

They haven’t yet completed the parking garage and the floor above it. They are still putting down the floor forms to pour later. It took a long time for this build to get off the ground because of the complicated footprint and heavy machinery access point.

They dug the pit with heavy machinery, but at one point the hole was too deep, and the machinery was IN the pit and had to be hauled out by crane, because the alleyway was higher than the pit, so there was a disconnect.

They set the crane IN the alleyway between Rue Tupper and the build site. When the wind blows, as is often, that crane swings around and around. If ever that crane went down, in a high wind storm, some serious damage would take place, where ever it fell.

Now for the finished builds…

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This is the artists rendition of the completed Le Square Montreal.

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And this is the final artists rendition of La Catherine, upon completion.

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