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High-level, world-class expertise to help integrate the REM de l'Est into Montreal's urban landscape

Chantal Rouleau, Minister for Transport and Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal Region, Harout Chitilian, Vice-President, Corporate Affairs, Development and Strategy at CDPQ Infra, and Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montréal, have announced the creation and members of the multidisciplinary committee of experts for the architectural and urban integration of the REM de l'Est. Chaired by Ms. Maud Cohen, P.Eng., President and Chief Executive Officer of the CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation, the committee is composed of 15 people who are recognized by their peers in their respective fields.

The Montréal-based architectural firm Lemay, known for its transdisciplinary and sustainable projects in Québec and internationally, was also selected to develop, together with the committee of experts, the architectural charter and prescriptive guidelines that will govern the integration of the REM de l'Est in downtown Montreal and along the entire route. The Montréal public will be asked to comment on and improve the options proposed as part of the review process.

The work of the independent expert committee is part of the detailed planning phase of the project, designed to improve and optimize it. Reports resulting from this work will be published by the end of the year. The consultation process set up by CDPQ Infra will take place simultaneously, and also give the public an opportunity to obtain information and give their opinions on the many aspects of the project.

"The arrival of the REM de l'Est marks a turning point for Montréal. We will give new momentum to sustainable mobility in the east end of the city by relying on local talent and know-how to provide us with an infrastructure that will contribute positively to the urban fabric through innovative design, in harmony with the surroundings. The committee unveiled today is composed up of independent experts from different backgrounds who specialize in various fields such as development, heritage, urban art, active transit and so on. I am convinced that they will be able to ensure a seamless integration of the largest public transit project in the history of Quebec. Thus, the REM de l'Est will be a source of pride for the people of Montréal, and a source of inspiration around the world."

Chantal Rouleau, Minister for Transport and Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal Region
"We committed to establishing a committee to ensure that the urban and architectural integration would make it a signature project. We fulfilled that commitment by creating a committee of very high-level experts who will be an asset to the project's success. We all want this high-performance infrastructure to be harmoniously integrated into the neighbourhoods that will benefit from this new service."

François Bonnardel, Minister of Transport and Minister Responsible for the Estrie Region
"Our ambition is to make the REM de l'Est a collective project that will make everyone proud. We know we can achieve this by working together with the public, independent experts, leading professionals and relevant authorities. Our desire is to develop an exceptional integration approach that is specific to the REM de l'Est. The committee will have the authority to contribute to the development of a high-level, world-class architectural vision that will make the city shine."

Harout Chitilian, Vice-President, Corporate Affairs, Development and Strategy at CDPQ Infra
"The REM de l'Est is a golden opportunity to offer the people of Montreal's east end a modern, efficient and comfortable public transit system that will help revitalize this area full of potential. However, this opportunity comes with the important challenge of ensuring that the project is successfully integrated into the neighbourhoods it will serve and pass through. The City of Montreal has indicated from the outset that it wants urban and architectural integration to be a priority, from the design of the project to its completion. I am confident that the committee of experts has the right people in place to identify solutions and make this major project a success. "

Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montréal
"I sincerely believe that in the face of any challenge, there are always solutions. You have to be open, thorough, creative, but also daring. We have the talent to fulfil today's design mandate. We are all excited to get started."

Maud Cohen, Chair of the multidisciplinary expert committee on urban and architectural integration for the REM de l'Est
"We are embarking on this project with the conviction that we can have a part in creating inspirational and sustainable living environments that will make the people of Montréal proud. We know the value of a cross-disciplinary approach that draws on the expertise of each individual. We look forward to working as a team with the committee of experts, the public and CDPQ Infra in developing the design and urban integration guidelines for the REM de l'Est."

Louis Lemay, President and Architect, Lemay


• The REM de l'Est will consist of 8 km of underground rail and 24 km of elevated rail. The structures, particularly those in the René-Lévesque Boulevard corridor in the downtown area, will receive special attention in terms of their architectural treatment, to ensure they receive a modern and symbolic aesthetic for this nerve centre of Montreal.

• The committee unveiled today will rely on its members' complementary fields of expertise to ensure the REM de l'Est is successfully integrated into the urban landscape. The committee is composed of the following individuals:
o Maud Cohen, President and Executive Director, CHU Sainte-Justine Foundation, and Chair of the multidisciplinary expert committee on the urban and architectural integration of the REM de l'Est
o Mouna Andraos, Co-founder, Daily tous les jours art and design studio, Interim Executive and Artistic Director, Society for Arts and Technology, and Adjunct Professor, Design and Computation Arts Department, Concordia University
o Frédérick Bouthillette, Assistant Deputy Minister, Strategic Public Transit and Rail Projects, Ministère des Transports
o Rose Lindsay Daudier, Executive Director, Fusion jeunesse
o Marie Elaine Farley, President and Chief Executive Officer, Chambre de la sécurité financière, Board Member, Réseau de transport métropolitain (EXO)
o Luc Gagnon, Director of the Service de l'urbanisme et de la mobilité, City of Montréal
o Éric Gauthier, Senior Partner, FABG Architects
o Ken Greenberg, Director of Greenberg Consultants, urban designer, professor and author.
o Eric Millette, Architectural Conservation and Integration Consultant, CONTEXTURE
o Paula Negron, Ph. D., Associate Professor at the School of urban planning and landscape architecture, Université de Montréal
o Christian Savard, Executive Director, Vivre en Ville
o Monique Simard, cultural producer and manager, Chair of the Board of Directors, Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, Chair of the Board of Directors, Fonds Québecor, and Chair of the Board of Directors, Vitrine culturelle
o Stéphanie Trudeau, Executive Vice President, Québec at Énergir and Chair of the Board of Directors at Gaz Métro Plus, Énergir, chaleur et climatisation urbaines (ECCU), the Fédération des chambres de commerce du Québec (FCCQ) and Soupe pour elles
o Jean-Paul Viguier, President and Founder of VIGUIER architecture urbanisme paysage
o Christian Yaccarini, President and Chief Executive Officer, Société de développement Angus

• The committee of experts' role is to support, with help from the architectural firm Lemay, the REM de l'Est project office in defining the guiding principles of the architectural signature, urban integration and development of the REM de l'Est in downtown Montréal and along the entire route.

• The committee will initially meet monthly, beginning in May 2021, through the end of the year, and then remain active thereafter throughout the project. Once recommendations have been tabled and the architectural design is publicly unveiled, it will continue to monitor the progress of the detailed design that will be developed by the consortium selected as a result of the request for proposals process. All of the committee's opinions will be included in a report that will be made public prior to the BAPE public hearings. CDPQ Infra will also publicly unveil the architectural design chosen for the project.

• The REM de l'Est is one of the projects targeted by the major process underway to revitalize Montréal-Est. Increased mobility, decontamination of strategic sites, economic development and improvement of the quality of life of citizens are the priorities identified in the Declaration for the revitalization of Montréal-Est, in which the Government of Québec and the City of Montréal committed to consolidating a common, integrated and innovative vision.

  • On December 15, 2020, CDPQ Infra, along with the Government of Québec and the City of Montreal, announced the REM de l'Est. This new public transit project, consisting of 32 kilometres of light rail and 23 new stations, will meet a historic demand in the East, connecting the Pointe-aux-Trembles and CÉGEP Marie-Victorin areas to downtown Montréal.
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