Design and Construction
Arch 304
Winter term 2009
Professor Pieter Sijpkes
link to second half of term

"Between  The Falaise St. Jacques and the Lachine Canal"
Link to proposal to repair Turcotte Interchange


Outline of project

key words:
highway-neighbourhood interface
noise abatement
particulate abatement


The three-and-a-half kilometer long strip of land between the St Lawrence River, the Lachine Canal and the Falaise St. Jacques has been part of  the area's history long before Montreal was founded and the Lachine Canal was constructed. It was a swampy, boggy area, through which the St. Pierre river meandered; this small river was navigable by canoes and was used as a way to get around the Lachine Rapids, when travelling between where now Lachine and Montreal are located. There even was a body of open water called Lac St Pierre.
This bucolic area was mainly passed by after Montreal was founded in 1642.
The Lachine Canal was completed in 1825, forming the  Southern boundary of the area. In the 1850's the first rail line between Montreal an Toronto was built by the Grant Trunk Railway company just north of the Canal.*
After WWII the whole area was filled-in and paved-over to create a very large shunting yard for the CPR.  In 1964 Highway 20 was constructed, and in 1967 the Turcot Interchange.
After 40 years, the Turcot Interchange needs replacement, and the Quebec government is rethinking the whole alignment of autoroute 20 between  the Mercier bridge  access and the start of the Ville Marie expressway.

The design challenge.

It is rare that a stretch of highway several kilometers long is being planned on an almost blank slate.
This is what is happening right now with autoroute 20.
We will study implications of this redesign, look at precedents, and come up with some solutions for the new autoroute 20 'edge design'  
"Between  The Falaise St. Jacques and the Lachine Canal"

This week three studygroups: the site (history, geography..) precedents for highway-neighbourhood interface design community actions, blogs, posters, videos, graffity
site visit Friday afternoon
Presentation Monday January 12 @14.00Hrs

Navigateur  Urbain:

The Quebec government's plans:

exploring the Falaise St Jacques:

opinion blog:

the site before autoroute 20 was constructed:

example of Dutch comprehensive highway edge design:
file-to-factory design of the  'acoustic barrier ' building:

*. Montreal and Lachine Railroad began operations 19 November 1847 between Bonaventure Station in Montréal and the St Lawrence River. Built to bypass the LACHINE rapids, it was 12 km long. The railway merged with the Lake St Louis and Province Railway in 1850, taking the name Montreal and New York Railroad. In 1857 it amalgamated with the CHAMPLAIN AND SAINT LAWRENCE RAILROAD under the name Montreal and Champlain Railroad. It was eventually absorbed by the GRAND TRUNK RAILWAY.

Link to Weimar University housing typology site