March 13th, 2022, Montréal – 15 months after the release of the initial REM de l’Est project, CDPQ Infra revealed on Wednesday an updated and “improved” version of its project. This $10 billion project aims to connect residents from the city from East to West. Last August, the Chinatown Working Group Montréal (CWG) strongly raised its concerns over the project. This revised project still doesn’t address any of our previous concerns and puts at great risk the integrity of the living and built environment of Chinatown and its community.
CWG made several recommendations that aim to ensure the quality of life of Chinatown’s community is improved and respected, and the cultural and historical significance of the built-in Chinatown is preserved. CWG continues to recommend:
- that the Chinatown community be included in the planning process;
- that an underground infrastructure be privileged;
- that the REM de l’Est ensures the permeability of Jeanne-Mance street. An elevated track and road closures would have a huge impact on Chinatown’s community and its future development, especially so close to a « noyau institutionnel » of this area;
- that the station takes into account the local history and contributes to the valorisation of the unique identity specific to Chinatown; and
- a holistic integration from a design and planning perspective to respect Chinatown’s heritage.
The Asian communities have fought for over two years to achieve heritage designation and protection for Chinatown. Chinatown is the first designation of an historical site identified by the City of Montreal in Montreal. The Minister of Culture, Nathalie Roy, declared the heart of Chinatown as a ` site patrimonial du Noyau-Institutionnel-du-Quartier-Chinois`, signaling both the province’s and city’s acknowledgment of its cultural and historical importance.
Moving forward, CWG believes the Chinatown community should be included in the planning process of the REM to reflect the provincial and city’s wishes to preserve Chinatown, its community, and its neighborhoods.
The updated version of the REM de l’Est is unacceptable and prejudicial to Chinatown and its community.
CWG can answer media inquiries in both English and French.
Contact person: Donny Seto