NEWS FROM RIGHT HERE

22-03-2024

2023 Activity Report – Highlights

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MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR OF THE BOARD AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The year 2023 marks an important milestone for the SDC District Central, one of concrete, high-impact interventions for the area. It's a long-awaited and well thought out step, more importantly one that is firmly anchored in the social and economic fabric of a neighbourhood that has not yet finished making a name for itself.

For more information >>

Delia De Gasperis

Delia De Gasperis, cpa, ca

Chair of the Board of Directors

Photo_Hélène Veilleux_DG

Hélène Veilleux

Executive Director

ONE MISSION

Breathe new life into this legendary neighbourhood make it shine on a broader stage and propel it to the very top of Montréal's economic landscape.

Sunflower field La Prairie Louvain
Sunflower field La Prairie Louvain
Grand Défilé District Central as part of Montréal Fashion Week - September 19
Grand Défilé District Central as part of Montréal Fashion Week - September 19

HIGHLIGHTS OF 2023

  • Representations on the urban plan for the vacant lot at 50-150 Louvain West and at PPU District Central
  • Proposal for the first “En mode circulaire” workshops with Concertation MTL
  • Campus Fab City presented collaboratively with Communautique
  • Implementation of Phase 1 of the Signature Intervention Plan — La Prairie Louvain
  • Grand Défilé du District Central/Montreal Fashion Week
  • Launch of shared parking facilities
  • Unveiling of three new murals
  • Initiation of the development of a communication platform

A DYNAMIC AND ATTRACTIVE LIVING ENVIRONMENT

Breathing new life into a neighbourhood also means creating a living environment where it feels good to live, work and play. The year 2023 was also a year of significant progress in this area.

Partners of La Prairie Louvain at the project launch 5 à 7 – May 17
Partners of La Prairie Louvain at the project launch 5 à 7 – May 17

DISTRICT CENTRAL SIGNATURE

Developed in 2022 and presented to the community in May 2023, the District Central's Signature Intervention Plan has taken off over the past year. Embodied by La Prairie Louvain, a field of 10,000 sunflowers occupying part of the vacant lot at 50-150 Louvain West, phase 1 of the plan was a resounding success. Initiated by the SDC District Central, the landscaping initiative required the collaboration of numerous partners, including the non-profit organization Îlot 84, Laboratoire sur l'agriculture urbaine and a consortium of designers formed by the firms Zaraté Lavigne Architectes, Humà Design + Architecture and En temps et lieu. Financially supported by Tourisme Montréal, YUL Aéroport de Montréal and the Ville de Montréal, the project generated unprecedented media coverage for the area.

PUBLIC ART

Three new murals were unveiled in 2023, bringing the number of public artworks to 6 in the District Central.

 

Évasion/105 Chabanel West

Mural produced by DinoArt. Initiative supported and financed by the SDC District Central with contributions from Groupe LTJ and the borough of Ahuntsic-Cartierville.

333 Chabanel West

A mural on the theme of cultural biodiversity produced by Mono Sourcil (Yves Laroche Galerie d'art/producer). An initiative supported and financed by the SDC District Central, with contributions from Immeubles HS and the borough of Ahuntsic-Cartierville.

Femmes d’Acier/Chalet du Parc Saint-Simon

Mural produced by Nicole Boyce and LNK Art. An initiative of the Femmes d'acier committee supported by Prévention du crime Ahuntsic-Cartierville (PCAC). With the financial support of the SDC District Central, the Club de l'âge d'or Jean Cabot, the Centre des femmes solidaires et engagées and the borough of Ahuntsic-Cartierville.

Mural at 333 Chabanel Street West
Mural at 333 Chabanel Street West
Mardi Yoga at Esplanade Louvain
Mardi Yoga at Esplanade Louvain

ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS

In addition to the return of regular activities, the District Central’s programming was marked by a number of new features in 2023. The proposed activities attracted not only District Central residents and workers, but also visitors and tourists, generating record numbers of visitors to the area.

For more information about these activities >>

SHARED PARKING SPACES

Since September 1, 2023, more than 100 off-street parking spaces have been available to residents and workers in the District Central. Managed via Clicknpark's Park the Search mobile application, it aims to facilitate accessibility to the area and support the attractiveness of the sector's businesses in terms of labour. In line with the SDC's vision of sustainable mobility, the initiative will also help offset the loss of parking spaces caused by the deployment of the new bike path on Legendre Street. The proposed spaces are divided between a number of private properties and the vacant lot on Louvain West. Considered a pilot project by the borough of Ahuntsic-Cartierville, the initiative is part of its Plan triennal de déplacements 2023-2025 and will be phased over three years for the vacant lot.

Clicknpark launch with our partners – August 28
Clicknpark launch with our partners – August 28
Business Vitality Committee - November 6
Business Vitality Committee - November 6

COMMERCIAL VITALITY

Aimed at improving the area's positioning and creating a more complete living environment, in 2023, the SDC began work on a portrait of the District Central's commercial vitality. This included an urban planning and socio-economic analysis of the area's main thoroughfares. The findings and issues identified at the end of the exercise will lead to the development of an action plan, to be unveiled later in 2024.

A PROSPEROUS BUSINESS HUB FOCUSED ON THE FUTURE

As the achievements of 2023 confirm, having a foothold in the District Central means being part of a tightly knit, dynamic business community where every entrepreneur benefits from services tailored to their needs and realities, is invited to create new alliances and contribute to the development of the economy of the future.

Compny visit to Muntu - November 9
Compny visit to Muntu - November 9

CONNECTOR OF OPPORTUNITIES

For the third year running, the Connector of Opportunities project has brought together local businesses with needs and activities conducive to the development of joint projects. Based on the sharing economy, this initiative - reinforced by the use of resource partners when necessary - reached new heights in 2023, resulting in:

  • Support for 154 new businesses on-line and in person
  • The creation of 180 business links
  • The addition of 11 new resource partners

For more details >>

Candidate Fair - May 20
Candidate Fair - May 20

HR SERVICES

Identification of human resources issues and needs of local businesses, referrals to employability organizations and the promotion of promising initiatives. Project funded by Services Québec until March 2023, then integrated into the Connector of Opportunities project.

  • 44 businesses benefitted from the services
  • Some 110 business connections were made
  • Close to 30 meetings between businesses and employability partners
"Pooling resources" collaboration circle as part of the Campus Fab City - June 15
"Pooling resources" collaboration circle as part of the Campus Fab City - June 15

COMMUNICATIONS PLATFORM

Identified as a promising project in the District Central's 2020 Recovery Plan, the communications platform project - designed to enable SDC members to inform and communicate with each other - has gone through several stages. Over the past 12 months, we have chosen the tool best suited to the community's needs and begun its development. The launch is scheduled for 2024.

NETWORKING AND COLLABORATIVE SPACES

Many networking and exchange opportunities for SDC District Central members and their partners were held in 2023.

12

Workshops and collaboration circles

5

Fairs and events

4

Corporate activities

DIGITAL URBAN MOBILITY TOOLBOX

Tailor-made for the District Central and available to businesses in the area, this fully digital toolkit includes an interactive map of the District, as well as guides and resources for learning more about sustainable mobility infrastructures and the services available.

Urban mobility toolbox
Urban mobility toolbox

REAL ESTATE GUIDES

As part of its Builders’ Program, the SDC District Central has produced three new real estate guides. The first deals with short-term rentals, the second with the marketing of commercial space, and the third with finding commercial space.

Real Estate Guide : "Recherche d'un espace commercial"
Real Estate Guide : "Recherche d'un espace commercial"

INVENTORY AND CHARACTERIZATION OF COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE SUPPLY

A portrait of the supply of commercial space on the territory is available through the CRM - building characteristics, availability, location, functionalities, etc.

Howard Szalavetz (Les Immeubles HS), Eyal Cohen (Marcarko) and Frédérick Lizotte (AEDN Realty) at the District Central Real Estate 5 à 8 – October 24
Howard Szalavetz (Les Immeubles HS), Eyal Cohen (Marcarko) and Frédérick Lizotte (AEDN Realty) at the District Central Real Estate 5 à 8 – October 24

NETWORKING COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE SUPPLY AND DEMAND

With the help of a specialized real estate resource, the SDC District Central was able to evaluate the requests it received from businesses looking for spaces on the territory and directed them to building owners whose space best matched the needs of a business. The form for entrepreneurs seeking commercial space on the District Central website has also been updated to offer a better experience.

TAILOR AND SEAMSTRESS TRAINING COHORT

Collaboration with Vestechpro, project leader, for the creation of a group of individuals interested in learning the rudiments of tailoring.

A WELL KNOWN AND RECOGNIZED AREA

Supported by the roll-out of phase 1 of the District's Signature Intervention plan, the territory has enjoyed unprecedented visibility in 2023. The gains made, both in the public arena and with the territory's various socio-economic players, are clear and pave the way for greater recognition and influence for the District Central.

Outreach Campaign - Summer 2023, Click to access our press review

COMMUNICATIONS CAMPAIGN

Split into two phases, closely linked to the La Prairie Louvain project, the communications campaign orchestrated by the SDC District Central in 2023 generated extensive media coverage and some 50 million views on the organization's digital platforms. The Metamorphosis microsite alone, dedicated to the Signature Intervention Plan, attracted nearly 30,000 individual visitors. In addition to the collaboration established with influencers and orchestrated awareness campaigns, the District and its sunflower field were also the subject of a record number of mentions on social media. Key messages were also conveyed on a number of roadside billboards, Morris columns and metro stations, in addition to a few print newspapers.

More details on the benefits >>

La Prairie Louvain video shoot with Marie-Pier Tessier De l’Étoile of Îlot 84, associate producer for the field – August 22
La Prairie Louvain video shoot with Marie-Pier Tessier De l’Étoile of Îlot 84, associate producer for the field – August 22

CORPORATE PUBLICATIONS

In 2023, more than 500 posts and stories were made across the SDC’s social media platforms. The content shared generated more than 30 million reactions and a large number of new subscriptions.

  • Article in AQTR’s Routes et Transport magazine
  • 5 new videos, including 3 business portraits
  • 10 new articles published on the organization’s website
La Prairie Louvain sunflower on the Montreal airport sign
La Prairie Louvain sunflower on the Montreal airport sign

VISIBILITY PARTNERSHIPS

As a sign of the District Central's appeal as a living and business environment in transformation, the past year has also seen the launch of a number of visibility partnerships, many of them entirely new. All of these initiatives have served to highlight one of the area's business hubs or its current transformation process.

For more details >>

Presentation of the Signature Intervention Plan to the Table de concertation en développement économique d’Ahuntsic-Cartierville – October 27
Presentation of the Signature Intervention Plan to the Table de concertation en développement économique d’Ahuntsic-Cartierville – October 27

REPRESENTATION ACTIVITIES

True to its commitment to represent the interests of businesses in the District Central, the SDC was involved in a number of issues important to the area in 2023. Most of the issues on which the SDC has made representations relate to territory planning and mobility. This is notably the case for modifications to the urban plan obtained in connection with the vacant lot at 50-150 Louvain West, and the extension of the scope of the TOD PPU of the Ahuntsic Chabanel stations to a PPU for the District Central.

For more information >>

A delegation of French companies visits the District Central – September 25-26
A delegation of French companies visits the District Central – September 25-26

WELCOMING DELEGATIONS

The transformation of the District Central and its particular economic fabric are raising curiosity among many stakeholders and have led to the hosting of three delegations in 2023.

For more information >>

THE MEANS TO MATCH OUR AMBITIONS

Year after year, the SDC makes sure it has the necessary resources and tools to achieve its mission and vision. 2023 was no exception.

Meeting with Acadie Member of Parliament, André A. Morin, to present the Signature Intervention Plan – April 17
Meeting with Acadie Member of Parliament, André A. Morin, to present the Signature Intervention Plan – April 17

CLEAR GUIDELINES

In April 2023, the SDC Board of Directors adopted the 2023-2025 Strategic Plan. The orientation document puts forward four priorities for action:

  1. Co-develop the territory with property owners to create a dynamic and attractive place to live.
  2. Make the territory a benchmark business location for short circuits in Quebec.
  3. Reveal the territory by capitalizing on its distinctive features and highlighting its uniqueness.
  4. Develop our capacity to deliver on our ambitions and ensure the coherence and sustainability of our actions.

These priorities will be embodied in all measures and projects deployed between now and 2025.

These are in addition to the vision of sustainable mobility developed over the past year, which will guide the SDC’s work and representations in various mobility-related files.

Sunflower field - La Prairie Louvain
Sunflower field - La Prairie Louvain

IN-DEPTH KNOWLEDGE OF THE TERRITORY AND ITS BUSINESSES

After dedicating three years to collecting and characterizing information on the territory's businesses, the SDC is now in a position to carry out various analyses leading to the development of management dashboards on finance, communications, economic vitality, real estate, and demographics. For the first time in 2023, the data collected has also been used to produce a report outlining the different areas of influence and impact of the SDC District Central since its creation. This tool will be updated periodically.

For more information >>

WELL-DEFINED OPERATING FRAMEWORKS

The SDC took advantage of the past year to create a Confidentiality and Consent Management Policy that meets the requirements of Quebec's new law on the protection of personal information. A regulation on contract management for any agreement between the organization and a business partner valued between $25,000 and $121,200 was also developed and adopted. These management tools are in addition to the Benefits and Total Compensation Policy adopted last year and to be implemented in 2023.

ETHICAL ECONOMIC CHARTER

Officially launched last year, the project to draw up an Ethical Economic Charter continued in 2023. A survey on the circular economy, corporate social responsibility and corporate mission was sent to local businesses. The results will feed into the workshops announced for 2024, the aim of which is to identify the moral principles to be applied to the territory's economic development. The project is being carried out by urban planning consultancy firm ELEMENTS Planification urbaine, in collaboration with university researchers.

Harvesting at La Prairie Louvain - October 5
Harvesting at La Prairie Louvain - October 5

INVESTMENTS FOR THE FUTURE

The SDC District Central ended 2023 with a planned deficit of $40,474. This situation is partially the result of the organization's decision to invest the surpluses of recent years in promising projects for the territory and member businesses, including the deployment of Phase 1 of the Signature Action Plan and the communications platform.

For more information >>

A SOLID, DEDICATED TEAM

By the end of 2023, the SDC District Central could rely on a passionate team of seven seasoned professionals and a consultant. Their combined expertise have enabled the SDC to go even further in offering services to businesses and in supporting the transformation of the area, one step at a time.

Meet the SDC District Central team >>

crop_2023_09_19_Grand_Defile_Groupes_Hres_D_Chamberland-1413
CA BOARD OF DIRECTORS

A BROAD NETWORK OF BUSINESS VOLUNTEERS

Firmly rooted in the area, the SDC District Central can count on the commitment of some sixty business and community representatives from diverse backgrounds.

2023 Board of Directors >>

Committees and ambassadors >>

2024 OUTLOOK

  • Deployment of phase 2 of the Action Plan for the territory signature
  • Return of the La Prairie Louvain field
  • Continued work on the Industrial Merchant project
  • Launch of the communication platform for District Central businesses
  • Return of the District Central pop-up space, Esplanade Louvain, and summer events
  • Continued efforts to promote the area and its businesses thanks to a communication strategy that includes ambassadors and targeted public relations campaigns
  • Creation of new murals
  • District Central real estate forum
  • Urban planning in the territory and accessibility
    • Action plan to develop commercial vitality
    • Be the voice of the business community by making recommendations on the PPU District Central under development, on the future of the vacant lot at 50-150 Louvain West and on other regulations.
    • Collaborate with Université de Montréal — Architecture de paysage (landscape architecture): graduate project on the territory
    • Workshop on the distribution and coexistence of transportation modes
    • Organization of an exploratory walk
Panel on commercial urban agriculture at the District Central Real Estate Forum - February 6, 2024
Panel on commercial urban agriculture at the District Central Real Estate Forum - February 6, 2024

THE DISTRICT CENTRAL

Ile_couleurs_fondblc

km2 of territory

3 business pillars: design, technology, and urban manufacturing

2,100 businesses

4th largest employment hub in Montréal

25,000 workers and the potential to accommodate up to 40,000 workers

25 million sq. ft. of commercial and office space

320 non-residential properties

$2.5B in total value of non-residential buildings

$3.9M in private money invested in outreach, animation, and development of the neighbourhood

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