Earlier this year, the city announced large-scale plans to develop a 92-acre piece of land (roughly four million square feet) into Carré Laval, a car-free greenspace for outdoor activities, entertainment, living, studying or working. This innovative project is part of the city’s overall strategic vision for the future: Urbaine de Nature—Laval 2035.

A bit of history
The future Carré Laval is situated in the city center, flanked by Highway 15, boulevard du Souvenir, boulevard Daniel-Johnson and boulevard St-Martin Ouest. This large section of land was once the Lagacé quarry, in service from 1948 to 1976. It’s currently being used as the main snow depository. Over the years, many ideas have been considered for developing the land, but due to contamination levels, it has proven to be challenging.

Financial Assistance
Although the total price tag for this immense project has yet to be announced, the city will receive $10 million in assistance from the province over a five-year period, to be used for decontamination, redevelopment and updating of the land, as well as planning for a multi-year strategy to attract key players in the development of the site as an urban hub that can be enjoyed year-long.

Key Features & Vision
“This future space for innovation meets the desire, clearly expressed by residents on several occasions, to give Laval an innovative, distinctive and inclusive hub that will promote prosperity in the city and draw talented people from all horizons,” says the city’s website.

Among some of the proposed features of Carré Laval are a large urban park and body of water accessible to everyone, where cultural and sporting events can take place. The entire site will be car-free, to encourage citizens to use public transit or other green forms of mobility to get around. In fact, the overarching objective for Carré Laval is for it to be carbon-neutral, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the city’s environmental footprint.

A key component of the overall vision is the site’s diverse offerings: commercial offices and spaces, a place for start-ups to thrive, research and development centres, collaborative workspaces and even a residential neighborhood estimated at around 3000 residents—the ultimate living and working recipe for citizens who share a desire to reduce their own carbon footprint.

In a 2015 reflection paper as part of the city’s “Rethinking Laval” study, several sections of the 80-page document (found on the city’s website) make mention of the intention to protect greenspaces and promote eco-friendly and eco-responsible businesses on the territory. “Today’s understanding of the need to respect the environment and fight climate change leads to the modification of development practices,” says the document. “It must also be noted that the commitment and readiness of the citizens regarding the environment are on the rise everywhere. Laval residents are increasingly concerned by the issues of climate change, pollution, protection of natural environments…”

An official timeline for the completion of the project has yet to be announced.