The City of Boisbriand wants to join Montreal’s growth boom with a sustainably themed multi-use development, Le Quartier-Forestia, on 53 hectares of agricultural land. If the project is realized, it could be valued at up to $1.2 billion.
“Le Quartier-Forestia aims to create a quality living environment based on the principles of transit-oriented development (TOD), sustainable development and synergy with the surrounding agricultural territory,” said long-time Montreal-area builder/developer Raymond Lessard, president of Le Quartier-Forestia, in a release announcing the project.
La Quartier-Forestia will oversee the project along with Terr’O Agriculture Environnement, a non-profit group created by the City of Boisbriand.
The development will cover 53 hectares at the intersection of Highways 13 and 640. About 37 per cent of the surface area will consist of parks, walking trails, bike lanes and vehicular infrastructure, designed with sustainable principles and access to urban agriculture in mind.
One aspect of the project is to attract and train young men and women who wish to undertake organic farming in the surrounding area.
Le Quartier Forestia to include 5,000 residences
Boisbriand mayor Marlène Cordato said about 5,000 housing units at the property will co-exist with a protected sugar bush northwest of the site, as well as protected streams and wetlands. Protective holding ponds will double as skating surfaces in the winter.
The unique concept will create a dense, multi-use neighbourhood, with several green spaces around two main hubs:
* A “civic” hub, to the south, will provide an entrance to the development and access to a core of local services such as retail, public markets, parks and mass transit;
* A second hub in the centre of the development will be devoted to sports and leisure, interpretive facilities and natural spaces.
Le Quartier-Forestia is the brainchild of the Lessard family business, which is co-led by Marie-Andrée and Stephan Lessard. Among the family’s other projects are the Urbania multi-residential property in Laval and will consist of 1,200 units at full build-out.
Phase 2 of that site, with both condos and rental apartments, is currently under construction.
The Lessards say development at Le Quartier-Forestia will make use of state-of-the-art renewable green and renewable energy technologies.
“The great thing about this project is that it will benefit the entire Boisbriand community,” Cordato said in the release.
The site is landlocked and not suited to large-scale agriculture, its proponents say. They also note a potential future housing shortage for the area. The site is the last parcel of land south of Highway 640 where urban development is allowed.
A request for exclusion will be filed with Quebec’s agricultural land protection commission.
Le Quartier-Forestia is in keeping with development priorities on the North Shore and meets requirements in both the City of Boisbriand and the greater Montreal development plans. The project will act as a buffer for urban sprawl, while it meets and exceeds the requirements of municipal and provincial authorities.