This post was written for SkyriseCities by Forum member skahhigh. Check out his SRC profile for more photos and updates from Montreal.

If an alien landed in the western part of Montreal’s René-Lévesque Boulevard in 2010, only to come back five years later, he would definitely wonder if he’d landed in another city. And he wouldn’t be the only one; many Montrealers have shared this feeling over the past three years.

YUL construction site in Montreal on October 27, image by Alexandre Lajoie

Kicking off with the construction of Cadillac Fairview’s 28-storey, 133-metre Deloitte Tower in 2012, the area surrounding the Bell Centre has been booming with the arrival of no less than seven projects that will bring ten new towers by 2020. The area between Drummond and Guy Streets used to be a deadzone filled with surface parking lots. Only two highrises were built here between 1992 and 2011: the 47-storey, Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed 1250 René-Lévesque, which is the city’s second-tallest building, was completed in 1992, and the 27-storey E-Commerce Place in 2003. This is an area that was screaming for new development. After eight years of stagnation in the Montreal real estate market, that development has finally come in a big way.

Roccabella in Montreal on October 14, image by Alexandre Lajoie

In addition to the 50-storey Tour des Canadiens and L’Avenue residential towers, 40-storey Roccabella towers and 39-storey Icône condos, two new projects were launched on one of the city’s most stagnant lots. No projects have been proposed for the parcel backing onto Overdale Avenue since 1989. In September 2013, Chinese developer Kheng Ly’s Brivia Group launched YUL, which will include two 38-storey towers in the first two phases, and 18 rowhouses in the third. A few months later, in a surprising twist, Ly sold the eastern part of the lot to Montreal-based developer Canvar, who proceeded to plan a 40-storey Holiday Inn hotel.

Icône in Montreal on October 14, image by Alexandre Lajoie

Just south of the Bell Centre in another area aching for development, Cadillac Fairview—motivated by the success of its Tour des Canadiens and Deloitte Tower projects—has decided to launch an entire development called Quad Windsor, projecting three new residential towers and two signature office towers on Peel Street by 2022. Sales for phase 2 of Tour des Canadiens, planned at 37 storeys, should begin in the next two months, with an estimated completion date for the tower in 2019. This massive project will finally link Montreal’s business district with the up-and-coming Griffintown neighbourhood.

Tour des Canadiens in Montreal on September 30, image by Alexandre Lajoie

It seems announcements for new developments just keep coming for the area around the Montreal Canadiens’ stomping grounds. And why shouldn’t they? The area is home to Montreal’s Metro system hub, Bonaventure station, and the two commuter rail terminals, Lucien-L’Allier and Central stations. Add an array of bars, restaurants and boutiques further north on Sainte-Catherine Street, and you have yourself Montreal’s newest hip area.

The rebirth of that part of Downtown Montreal is still a work in progress. This summer, the city launched a new urban development plan for the area, calling for a linear park and street-level improvements for pedestrians, while also evaluating the development potential of remaining vacant lots in the area.

No one can be entirely sure how much the neighbourhood will change by 2020. All we know is, big things are coming for Montreal, and it’s about time.

What would you like to see next for Montreal? Let us know in the Montreal forum or in the comments below. If you’d like to know more about these planned projects, visit the Database files linked below.

Related Companies:  Baker Real Estate Incorporated, Broccolini, IBI Group