Provencher_Roy architects and the Port of Montreal have moved forward with the restoration of the Grand Quay site and cruise terminal in Quebec, Canada.

Visitors and tourists can now walk along all of the green spaces on the site and contemplate wonderful views of the city. Thanks to this new, privileged access to the river, Montrealers have reconnected with these grounds.

Public promenades

Located along the banks of the Saint Lawrence River in Montreal’s Old Port, the Grand Quay is the first stop on the itinerary of cruise passengers: their first point of contact with the city. Since the public opening in 2018, pedestrians have been free to stroll along Promenade d’Iberville, a landscaped esplanade located on the roof of the cruise terminal and featuring a vast wooden terrace and over 30 000 flowering and aromatic plants.

Wide steps and a staircase, all in wood, have been built to grant pedestrians access to the upper pathway made of fire-resistant red cedar. The large wooden staircase at one end of the garden roof leads the public to Commencement Square, a green meadow that gently slopes down toward the river. This vast plain, located at the tip of the Grand Quay, is a place for reflection, gathering and sunbathing, and will host numerous events.

This pedestrian path completes the Old Port’s network of public spaces and rebuilds, in admirable fashion, the ties between the city, the port and the river. Access to the site is more than ever facilitated, whether for pedestrians, cyclists or users of public transit or electric cars.

“From the project’s inception, it was our intent to extend the Old Port’s linear park onto the pier. We wanted to create a space that emphasises the richness of the site while also providing a park, a place to relax, and a space that people could make their own,” explains Sonia Gagné, partner and architect at Provencher_Roy.

Five light wells dot the elevated promenade and bathe the cruise terminal below in natural light. Green zones and numerous trees have been integrated into the site design. The landscaping also enables more fluid circulation, significantly simplifying vehicular access to the port facilities and to the parking spaces still available in the former hangars.