What is a Special Planning Program?

The Special Planning Program (SPP) is a planning tool provided for in the Act respecting land use planning and development, which allows municipalities to execute detailed plans for those areas of the city that require special attention. Once adopted, the SPP becomes part of a municipality’s urban plan.

What does the City intend to do with the convent?

The Fabrique (Parish Corporation) of Saint-Joachim Parish owns the convent. Following the departure of the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame in 2014, the Pointe-Claire Village SPP proposes to find a new use that is in keeping with the heritage character of this place. The convent’s new use should preferably be focused on the community, culture, or tourism while respecting its religious context. Various options that would give the public access to La pointe, the windmill and the shores are possible. Progress: The City is currently amending the planning by-laws to ensure they are consistent with the objectives of the SPP:

1. The Zoning By-Law will be amended with the goal of merging the area of La pointe where the former convent and the windmill are located with the area where the Parish, Saint-Joachim Church, and Marguerite-Bourgeoys Elementary School buildings are located.

2. The Conditional Uses By-Law will be amended to allow the following community-oriented commercial uses:

- establishment offering products and services of a cultural, artistic, or recreational nature, or food products; 
- artists’ or artisans’ studio, art or handicraft shop, art gallery, or bookstore; 
- private, music, or dance school;
- health or wellness studio; 
- establishment whose use complements the following public uses: parks, playgrounds, and institutions;
- restaurant, café, or reception hall; 
- cultural facility, performance venue, or theatre;
- inn, bed and breakfast, or short-term accommodations; 
- commercial building used by or for a public, community, or non-profit organization.

However, applications for conditional uses must be assessed depending on certain criteria and objectives, such as sharing knowledge related to the history and characteristics of the heritage site and ensuring the public has access to the site, the windmill and the shores, while preserving and respecting the general, religious, educational, and contemplative nature and history of La pointe and its surroundings.

Do you intend to install public restrooms in the village to meet this demand?

The SPP proposes that public restrooms be installed in the new Alexandre-Bourgeau Park chalet and in the cyclist rest stop facilities that will be developed nearby. The public restrooms already available at the Noël-Legault Centre can still be used.

What are your plans for Alexandre-Bourgeau Park?

One of the objectives of the SPP is to reorganize the sports facilities in Alexandre-Bourgeau Park, to build a new chalet with public restrooms, and to develop a multi-purpose path and a cyclist rest stop near the shores of Lake Saint-Louis that will be connected to the bicycle path and pedestrian network.

Progress:

1. The City is currently amending the Conditional Uses By-Law to allow some commercial uses in Alexandre-Bourgeau Park, including establishments offering sports, artistic, cultural and recreational products and services, and food products, such as a public market.

2. The City is currently drafting a conceptual plan for Alexandre-Bourgeau Park, including new playgrounds, a new location for the parking lot, and a new chalet.

Will you add trash cans and planters and improve signage for municipal parking lots?

One of the goals of the SPP is to provide the village with a distinctive visual signature, which includes new street furniture (street lights, benches, trash cans, and other facilities). This plan, which was started in 2017, will be presented to City Council for approval in 2018. Planting in various areas is also planned in 2018, specifically as part of the reconstruction of Cartier Avenue.

Regarding signage for municipal parking lots, the SPP proposes to provide public parking areas with distinctive signage, thereby making it easier to access and identify the village’s parking lots as part of the parking policy drafted in 2018. The City also plans to add signage directing pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists to various points of interest.

What work is planned regarding future shared streets?

The goal of shared streets is to improve coexistence between motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians in a specific area. Shared streets can include developments such as identical treatment throughout the width of the street and bollards to separate the pedestrian area from the vehicle zone.

Preliminary studies on future shared streets located near Du Bord-du-Lac – Lakeshore Road and Saint-Joachim, Sainte-Anne, Demers, and Saint-Jean-Baptiste Avenues will take place in 2018. The next phases are below:

Spring – summer 2018

- Survey work (3-4 weeks)

- Drilling (2 weeks)

Summer – fall 2018

- Filmed inspections of sewer mains (3 weeks)

Will signage for the La pointe Claire heritage site be installed on Highway 20?

The Ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité durable et de l’Électrification des transports du Québec is responsible for signage along Highway 20. The City filed a request with the Ministère in 2016, but the services offered in the village and the heritage site do not meet the current eligibility criteria according to section 58 of the Cultural Heritage Act: http://www.tourisme.gouv.qc.ca/programmes-services/signalisation/panneaux/arr_histo.html.

Brown signs: These are reserved for national tourist attractions, such as parks, wildlife reserves, and ecological reserves. This also includes historical sites, but they must be public property. Both the pointe Claire and the windmill are private property. In addition, “Village” is not among the categories that the government recognizes for this kind of signage.

Blue signs: These are reserved for private tourist attractions that satisfy a number of criteria. While the pointe Claire and the windmill are private tourist attractions, they do not satisfy the basic criteria, which include being open to the public at least 5 days per week, being mentioned in a regional tourist guide, providing publicly accessible toilets, offering guided tours or having signage that explains the historical significance of the site, etc. In addition, the City cannot apply for this signage, as the pointe Claire and the windmill are private property. For more information, please consult this Tourisme Québec document.

Therefore, while the Pointe-Claire Village is most certainly a tourist attraction, it is not eligible for brown or blue signage according to Tourisme Québec criteria.

The City is aware of the limitations related to installing signage on the highway, which is why the Special Planning Program has as its objective 5.4 to clearly identify and enhance the entrances of the Village with landscaping, urban art installations, etc. The City began this process in 2017 and is currently working on a landscape masterplan for the Pointe-Claire Village, which should be completed in 2019.

Is it possible to transform the vacant lot in the northwest corner of Cartier Avenue and Du Bord-du-Lac – Lakeshore Road into a park or public place?

This is private land. Given the variety and substantial number of available public spaces in this area, especially along Lake Saint-Louis, it is preferable to encourage private development for this area located in the heart of the village. However, the SPP will favour the harmonious integration of any future project that may be developed on this vacant lot.