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UTILE plans another student housing development in Trois-Rivières

Six-storey La Canopée announcement follows separate project by Werkliv

A rendering of La Canopée, to be constructed in Trois Rivières by UTILE. (Courtesy Unité de travail pour l'implantation de logement étudiant)

Students at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) campus will soon have two new housing options, including a 179-unit development by Unité de travail pour l'implantation de logement étudiant (UTILE).

The Montreal-based student housing organization on Tuesday announced a six-storey, 77,768-square-foot building named La Canopée will be located at 3766 Boulevard Jean-XXIII. La Canopée expects to invest $29 million in the property.

The announcement follows a separate announcement by Werkliv, another Montreal-based student housing provider, which plans a 92-unit development in the city.

A UTILE release says its project will be within a 10-minute walk of the UQTR campus and is planned for completion in the summer of 2024.

Funding for La Canopée was provided by the Canadian and Quebec governments, the City of Trois-Rivières, UQTR's student union, Fonds de solidarité FTQ and other partners through the creation of the Capital Social d'Investissement Immobilier fund.

The Quebec government and Fonds de solidarité FTQ also formed the Fonds capital pour TOIT fund to support the project.

Laurent Levesque, co-founder and executive director of UTILE, called Trois-Rivières one of the university cities where students are most vulnerable.

Levesque noted nearly 70 per cent of the local student population lives on an annual income of $20,000 or less — including loans, scholarships, bursaries and gross wages.

“By creating a sustainable, high-quality living environment adapted to the needs of a student clientele, UTILE wants to help students achieve greater financial stability while revitalizing the city's aging rental housing stock and freeing up larger units for families."

Features of La Canopée

La Canopée will comprise 62,990 square feet of residential rental space on a 56,052-square-foot lot.

It will hold 179 student apartments, from studio to two-bedroom units and include semi-furnished units. Leases will run for 12 months, according to the project's website.

Students will have access to indoor and outdoor common areas such as study rooms, lounges and laundry facilities.

La Canopée will also be within walking distance of local businesses and green spaces, while also being close to the university bus terminal that provides access to Trois-Rivières’ public transit network.

Bikes can be placed in a parking lot while outdoor vehicle parking will offer 52 spaces.

Affordability is a key focus of La Canopée. The release states it will be the first student housing project in Trois-Rivières supported by UTILE with “sustainable rents.”

Green spaces around the building and parking lot will be designed to cool the air and reduce heat islands, minimizing La Canopée’s environmental footprint and improving the well-being of its tenants, the release states.

"Our support for the UTILE project in Trois-Rivières is in line with our goal of meeting the needs of social and affordable real estate stakeholders . . . ," Martin Raymond, president and CEO of the Fonds immobilier de solidarité FTQ, said in the announcement. "This new project will provide affordable housing for students while freeing up housing for Trois-Rivières households."

UTILE has completed two Montreal student housing projects with a combined 213 units. It has five others, including La Canopée, at various stages of construction, development and pre-development.

La Canopée joins Terrasse des Récollets

The announcement of La Canopée closely follows the announcement of the Werkliv development. It is planning the six-storey, 92-unit Terrasse des Récollets.

Like La Canopée, Terrasse des Récollets is to be oriented around affordability and sustainable building practices, Werkliv said.

It is designed for both students and young professionals and will be located at 1140 des Récollets Blvd.

The project is to be constructed using a prefabricated system which Werkliv hopes will shorten the build time to 120 days. The firm hopes to begin construction in March 2024 and have it substantially completed by July 2024.

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