Final sprint for Royalmount

This is the home stretch for the Royalmount megaproject, which is due to deliver its first commercial phase next August. The footbridge spanning the motorway to link with the metro will also be installed this weekend, under close surveillance.

What there is to know

  • The first phase of the Royalmount project should see the light of day next August.
  • The developer Carbonleo will install this weekend the pedestrian bridge connecting to the orange line of the Montreal metro.
  • A second phase including offices will see the light of day later.
  • The residential component is still pending.

“We have 1,000 workers who are on the site currently and soon, in a few weeks, it will rise to 2,000,” says the partner at the developer Carbonleo, Claude Marcotte, with whom we are visiting this enormous work zone which takes place at corner of highways 15 and 40.

Work on the first phase of the project, which will include several luxury shops, restaurants and a cinema, was launched in 2019. However, it had to be put on hold for several months during the health crisis and should finally see the day in mid-August. Its cost is estimated at $1.5 billion.

So far, almost 90% of available rental spaces are rented and all of them “should be rented in August,” says Mr. Marcotte.

A second phase will include offices, performance halls, a linear park and an aquarium, among others. However, we do not know when this second stage will see the light of day.


Claude Marcotte, partner at the developer Carbonleo

We have not yet defined when we will launch (the second phase). Honestly, we are already overwhelmed with getting this project off the ground.

Claude Marcotte, partner at the developer Carbonleo

“That said, we have a very high demand for the office, so we risk leaving more quickly than we thought. There are a lot of companies that want to come and set up here, with all the services that entails. We really want to deliver a complete community,” continues Claude Marcotte.

A footbridge… and a gigantic crane

This was one of the recommendations of the working committee aimed at improving mobility in the Namur-De La Savane sector: build a footbridge spanning the Décarie highway to reach the De La Savane metro station, on the orange line. Prefabricated in the factory in recent months and designed by the firm Sid Lee Architecture, this footbridge will finally be put in place this weekend. The installation must take place at night.

It is 600 feet long, about 13 feet wide and is separated into five sections. Its cost, initially estimated at 25 million, will be 50 million due to cost overruns linked to supply, in particular.


Some 1,000 workers are currently working on the Royalmount project mega-construction site.

“It’s a refined space, but above all airy, high and very wide,” says the president and general manager of Carbonleo, Andrew Lutfy.

It’s a really special object (the footbridge), and it was important for us that it was there from the start.

Andrew Lutfy, President and CEO of Carbonleo

It must be said that the operation to place this large structure on its steel pillars is delicate to say the least and especially dependent on the vagaries of the weather. The company called on the services of Grues Guay, which has “one of the largest cranes in America”, capable of lifting up to 1,000 tonnes, to achieve this feat.

Condos or not?

Ultimately, the Royalmount project should approach $10 billion, with the idea of ​​several other phases not being ruled out. “We see this over the next 15 years,” says Claude Marcotte.


Claude Marcotte presenting a model of the Royalmount project.

However, the issue of residential construction is still not resolved, with resistance being very real at the municipal level. The mayor of Mount Royal, Peter Malouf, made his opposition to the residential component of this project one of the central elements of the campaign that brought him to power.

“It’s known in industrial sectors: as soon as we start to do residential in industrial, it doesn’t coexist very well. The industrial sector works 24/7, with large trucks, machinery, odors, dust,” explained Mr. Malouf.

In short, zoning has never allowed residential use. At Carbonleo, on the contrary, we judge that the project could very well have such a vocation, due to its proximity to the metro and the concentration of services.

On a financial level for municipal authorities, “it is an exceptional opportunity since the majority of public services are financed by the project,” says Mr. Marcotte, who “intends to work with the cities concerned” in order to achieve to add housing units.

In Montreal, Mayor Valérie Plante supports the construction of residential units, but demands that a good portion of the units built become social and affordable housing, which the developer is currently refusing to do. On the form, Mme Plante has repeatedly opposed the project, fearing the congestion it would add to the already busy area of ​​highways 15 and 40.

In the commercial sector, the Royalmount also raises concerns. The Association of Commercial Development Companies of Montreal (ASDCM) was, among other things, concerned about the impact that such a project will have on small businesses nearby.

Learn more

  • 10
    This is the number of intersections that will benefit from synchronized traffic lights on Chemin de la Côte-de-Liesse, near the project, with the aim of streamlining automobile traffic. Two lanes will also be added, for a total investment of 20 million.

    Source: carbonleo


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