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Public consultations begin on future of the old Hippodrome racetrack

In this file photo, the Hippodrome site sits barren as local politicians debate over future housing proposals.
In this file photo, the Hippodrome site sits barren as local politicians debate over future housing proposals. Tim Sargeant/Global News

Montrealers can now weigh in on the future of the site of the old Hippodrome race track.

Public consultations are currently underway, with a citizens’ forum, happening on Thursday, Jan. 23 at Hotel Ruby Foo’s, being a first step.

During the forum, people can hear from experts on the topics of eco-neighborhoods, carbon neutrality and urban planning.

READ MORE: Activists in Côte-des-Neiges push borough to commit to more social housing in Blue Bonnets project

The experts were called in by Montreal’s public consultations office.

“I think it could be a really great demonstration project to showcase how the city can take a bigger leadership role within Canada — within the world, as well — in social housing, carbon-free development as well as public transportation innovations,” said Ammar Mahimwalla, a McGill University student of urban planning attending the forum.

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Workshops to come up with ideas on what the mobility within the neighborhood will look like, as well as its sustainability, are also taking place.

The consultations were launched after the city of Montreal announced it wants to develop the area also known as Blue Bonnets.

The city wants to turn it into mixed social and private sector housing with 6,000 units.

READ MORE: Montreal’s Hippodrome housing development moves forward

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante says she wants 40 per cent of the housing to be reserved for subsidized units. She also wants the area to be carbon neutral — with energy-efficient buildings and fewer cars.

Dominique Olivier, president of Montreal’s public consultations office, says the goal of consultations is to see if the city’s vision is adequate for people who are living around the area or could live in the project.

“Or there are things that need to be tweaked? Or do we need to start over? This is what the consultation is going to tell us,” said Olivier.

People who want to submit their written opinions can do so online until Feb. 6.

Public presentations of opinions will take place on Feb. 13.

Plante administration wants to breathe new life in to Hippodrome redevelopment project
Plante administration wants to breathe new life in to Hippodrome redevelopment project

–With files from Global’s Tim Sargeant

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