The Aylmer development boom continues, Plateau getting 740-unit apartment complex
Aylmer has seen a lot of new developments in the past few years, especially in the Plateau district. This development is not stopping, as the site located at 515 Boulevard du Plateau near the intersection of boulevard de l’Amérique-Française is set to receive eight new apartment buildings, each with six storeys, for a total of 740 units.
The buildings will have contemporary architecture and flat roofs with material that limits the effect of heat islands. The plans include a three-level parking garage, which limits the pavement surface area that causes heat islands. Developers also plan to have a dog park to the north of the parking structure.
There will be a central pavilion that will include an outdoor swimming pool and a sports club for the complex residents.
The city’s project analysis documents detail that an ecological study was done of the site, which confirms that there are no wetlands or woodlots located on the site.
During the plenary meeting on November 14, Plateau councillor Bettyna Bélizaire acknowledged the developers for their efforts, as some of the elements responded to residents' needs. However, she also voiced concerns for the project. “There could have been improvements,” she said. “Most units are one- or two-bedroom, which aren’t accessible to families, and affordable or social housing is not included in the plans. However, the biggest issue is the traffic the development will bring to the area.”
Gatineau’s urbanism and sustainable development department supports the development but acknowledges the traffic issues in the area. The traffic study shows that the development will cause an increase in traffic flow in the area, but that, for the short term, the roads have the capacity to support it.
However, with all the developments in the area over the next 10 years, the roads will not be able to keep up with traffic. The city states that the complete redevelopment of boulevard du Plateau and the introduction of a structured system of transportation on the boulevard will be needed.
In the meantime, the city is working with the Société de Transport Outaouais (STO) to create a reserved bus lane on the boulevard.
“We are creating more housing in the West but there are no services that are going along with the increase in population. There is more traffic and little affordable or social housing,” said Anik des Marais, Mitigomijokan councillor, a neighbouring district to the Plateau.
Bélizaire put forward a proposal notice for a complete traffic evaluation of the Plateau. The councillor stated that the study would allow for better planning and highlighted the importance of finding a way to manage the population growth.
Photo caption: Google maps screenshot of the site for the planned eight-building, 740-unit apartment complex. The site is located at 515 boulevard du Plateau.
Photo credit: Screenshot by Sophie Demers