Laval unveils revised Master Urban Plan

Martin C. Barry

Presenting the City of Laval’s revised Master Urban Plan earlier this week following years of preparation, Mayor Marc Demers said citizens will very shortly begin seeing the city’s central area blossoming into a true downtown core worthy of a major municipality.

A vision for the future

“Basically what this plan is saying is this is how we want to develop Laval for the next 25 years,” Demers said in an interview with the Laval News following a press conference for the unveiling at Collège Letendre in the heart of the city’s education district on de l’Avenir Blvd.

The Master Urban Plan is being updated after not being revised since 1990. It now goes to local public consultation, following which it will be examined by the Montreal Metropolitan Community and finally by the Quebec government. Beginning late next year, the plan will form the basis for further development in Laval over the next quarter-century through municipal zoning and by-laws.

Laval's Master Urban Plan.
Laval city manager Serge Lamontagne explains aspects of the city’s revised Master Urban Plan.

Development downtown

According to the mayor, development in Laval’s downtown – which is beginning to fill up although there are still many bare patches – will start accelerating in 2017 when the plan is finally in place. “Within the next five years there’ll be over $1 billion invested in the centre-ville by private investors,” he told the Laval News.

“A strategic vision inspires the development of a city, while a master urban plan demonstrates more substantially the major orientations of planning, as well as the goals and the actions needed,” said city manager Serge Lamontagne. He said the major actions the city plans to make include concentrating on Laval’s agricultural areas, identifying the nature preserves which need to be conserved, the consolidation of transit Oriented Development (TOD), determining the crucial district poles and the downtown, and fixing maximal heights for buildings.

Laval's Master Urban Plan.
From the left, Mayor Marc Demers Laval city manager Serge Lamontagne and urban planning director Sylvain Dubois.

Height restrictions coming

“We’re finally going to be dealing with heights,” said Councillor Paolo Galati who represents the eastern Laval district of St-Vincent-de-Paul. “Right now there’s no regulation as to how high you can go. But soon each territory will have a limit. And the only place that won’t have a limit is the downtown area which is very particular. We’re really focusing on rebuilding the city and giving it a distinct image and a new vision for the next 15 to 25 years.”

Planning the future layout of the City of Laval is taking place in conjunction with a specific principle the Demers administration adopted shortly after being elected in 2013. It foresees all future development occurring while taking into account Laval’s basic rural, urban and industrial components. The stance was taken to ensure that development takes place in a balanced manner, laying the ground for a city truly in step with 21st century values.

Laval's Master Urban Plan.
Laval city councillors Aline Dib, Daniel Hébert, Paolo Galati and Raynald Adams participated in the Master Urban Plan launch.

Preserving historic legacy

The Master Urban Plan will also be taking into account the historic legacy present in many buildings throughout the city. Vasilios Karidogiannis, the councillor for the district of Abord-à-Plouffe, sees this as a valuable tool for the preservation of tradition not only in his area but across Laval. “I’m very proud that this is going to be the legacy of the administration from 2013 to 2017,” he said of the plan.

Information about the revised Master Urban Plan, including a complete version with details and facts, can be seen at the web site As well, the city will be holding public information sessions on May 16, 18, 24 and 25 at 7 pm, during which the plan will be explained in detail and questions can be asked.