This is Montréal’s World Trade Centre, constructed in 1991 as one of the many urban redevelopment projects authorized during the Doré administration to celebrate our 350th anniversary in 1992. This project saw the re-integration of several old buildings facing Victoria Square and running along St-Jacques and St-Antoine. It is an example of a ‘horizontal skyscraper’, and runs from the Square to the Intercontinental Hotel, completed at the Eastern edge of the block in 1994.
Our WTC is not in any way truly comparable to the infamous New York City example, but it provides a fascinating addition to the urban fabric. It is a core component linking the diverse sectors of the Quartier International de Montréal, and thus links the Stock Exchange, ICAO, IATA, the Montreal Board of Trade, the CDP, the Palais des Congres and several hotels into a coherent narrative. It has also assisted in the rapid transformation of the Old Quarter which precipitated a drastic re-integration of several diverse sectors into a better-flowing urban centre. Best of all, with new condo and hotel projects already underway nearby, there is little doubt new office towers won’t be far behind, and one could only hope the city is doing all it can to draw more international organizations to our city, and foster the city’s role in global affairs. What we have in this sector is a high concentration of potential, but it always seems oddly inert when I pass through this part of the Underground. That being said, having shown this little slice of Montréal to several friends over the years, I can’t help but think the experience of this place alone would be enough to encourage large international organizations to make Montréal their home. It’s a truly captivating place.