Community leaders say Montreal Chinatown plan a good first step, but lacks specifics

·1 min read

MONTREAL — Community leaders say Montreal's new development blueprint for Chinatown marks a step in the right direction, but lacks the concrete measures needed to ensure neighbourhood preservation.

The response comes after Mayor Valérie Plante outlined a plan last week that set key priorities including heritage protection, revitalizing business and pedestrian traffic and boosting affordable housing.

The announcement follows two years of consultations with local citizens, store owners and advocates.

Jessica Chen, a member of the Montreal Chinatown Working Group and a former Vancouver city planner, says the document unfurled Friday amounts to a road map rather than a detailed policy plan, but represents a good first step.

She wants to see resources the city's $2-million investment aimed at commercial and quality-of-life improvements, and says a new working group between the municipality and the Quebec government must work quickly and transparently.

Jonathan Cha, a Montreal landscape architect and Chinatown expert, says the plan is "positive" but short on timelines, which he says are all the more urgent as development ramps up in an area that has yet to attain heritage designation.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 20, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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