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Outremont residents oblivious to new U de M campus

Local groups worry project will displace poorer residents


 

Université de Montréal’s plans to build a satellite campus in Outremont was approved by city council this week, but local residents remain oblivious to the project. When a Montreal Gazette reporter asked around the neighborhood if people knew about the new campus, a gas attendant said “don’t know,” a cook at an area restaurant said “really? I didn’t know that,” and a local police officer “flagged down by a lost reporter” hadn’t heard of the plan either. U de M purchased an Outremont train yard for $18 million in 2006, and held public consultations in 2007. However, some groups, concerned that the campus will drive out poorer residents, say not enough was down to solicit feedback from the community. “We are appalled and any other synonym you want to use for that word,” a spokesperson for the Citizen’s Committee of Park Extension, said. The university, which hopes to open the site in 2015, says more public consultation will be taking place.


 
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Outremont residents oblivious to new U de M campus

  1. It’s clear by this article that whoever wrote it does not really know Montreal. The issue is not with Outremont residents being unaware of the U de M construction plans. I live in Outremont and we were specifically consulted. We received letters inviting us to express our opinion years ago.

    The issue, in fact, is with Park Extension (Park X) residents not being consulted. Outremont is one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in Montreal and the construction will occur on land in its municipality. However, that land abuts Park X land. Park X is a historically poorer, immigrant area of Montreal, on the other side of the tracks from Outremont (literally). While consultation has occurred with Outremont residents, from what I understand Park X residents have not been provided with the same opportunity, and this despite the fact that they stand to lose more.

    To oversimplify a little, Outremont is already largely gentrified (this is based on my personal experience) and its rent is already higher. Park X historically has lower rent and houses cultural communities (and some amazing food). The concern is this – student money would go further in Park X and students would move into the area because it would be convenient. This would eventually lead to the increase in prices in Park X (for rent and otherwise) and the pushing out of immigrant communities.

    Also, given that U de M has already paid $18 mill for the land and will likely spend a large amount of money to decontaminate the land, what is the likelihood that any consultations held afterward with Park X residents will cause the University to rethink its plans to build? My bet, 0.

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