Tag Archives: Unfinished/ unrealized projects

Worth reconsidering { No.1 }

A grainy proposal drawing for the never-built Labatt Stadium

I often wondered why Jean Drapeau poured so much money and interest into the Expos, and then one day it hit me – it keeps American eyes on us, means we’re a place worth knowing something about, and doubtlessly the kind of place one would consider visiting. Imagine the picture above beaming into homes and bars across the US of A – that’s a view, a potential team and a potential stadium that could have generated a lot of tourism money for this city, and for that reason, Montréal needs to get back into the business of baseball.

I happen to have recently discovered I enjoy baseball quite a bit, and the more I learned about the Expos, the more I came to realize the Expos were robbed of the pennant (at least) in the 1994 season.

Clearly the Big O was not the ideal venue for a baseball franchise, as the enormous stadium was generally impossible to fill, and offered those in attendance no real view, aside from the imposing enormity of the Olympic Stadium. The planned Labatt Stadium (which you can read all about here) would have had a capacity of 36,000 – roughly half that of the Big O.

Now, the site where this stadium would have been constructed is currently condo towers, though there are sites large enough to accommodate a stadium, such as between Duke and St-Henri along William in Griffintown, or at the site of the old Canada-Post sorting facility (incidentally, any re-development of the Griff should consider a ballpark, given the availability of large tracks of land owned by Canada Lands Corporation). Either way, the success of any new version of the Expos, should the citizens of this city ever make an attempt to get back into pro-ball, would be highly dependent on the stadium, its design and the view available to the spectators. A new ballpark would also create many new jobs and further serve as a potential venue for a variety of performances – in essence, a well-designed and strategically placed ballpark could act as a neighbourhood anchor, exactly the kind of thing the southern portion of the downtown could use.

An unfinished list of unfinished projects

Habitat 67 with crane-barge from pier

The following is a list of unfinished projects, forgotten ideas, white elephants and missed chances from the past few decades; if there was ever an unfortunate characteristic demonstrable of Montréal, it would be our unfortunate history of not following through on our plans and not having the confidence to continuously find solutions to the inevitable obstacles to our progress:

    1. – Mirabel International Airport
    2. – Griffintown
    3. – Habitat 67
    4. РThe Montr̩al Aquarium
    5. – Olympic Stadium
    6. – Downtown baseball stadium
    7. – Expo 67 museum
    8. – Overdale
    9. – Heritage Theaters/ Downtown Theater District
    10. – Turbo-trains
    11. – Windsor Station
    12. – Victoria STOLport
    13. – 1909 PQAA Park Avenues recommendation
    14. – Mount-Royal Funicular
    15. – Trams
    16. – Golden Square Mile mansions
    17. – Medical-tourism hospital
    18. – Underground City extensions
    19. – Pie-IX, West-End, Airport, Anjou, St-Leonard and Longueuil  Métro extensions
    20. – Public washrooms
    21. РVespesiennes (dit Cam̩liennes)