Montreal’s Loew’s Theatre commemorated in new site development

From left to right: John Marcovecchio, CEO, Magil Construction; Marco Millin, vice-president, Real Estate Financing, Commercial Banking, Laurentian Bank; Kate Low, regional vice-president (Quebec), Real Estate Finance, BMO; Charles Li, Tianqing Group; Kheng Ly, president and CEO, Brivia Group; Chee Sing Yip, founder, Kim Phat Group; Fangfei Wang, deputy manager, Montreal Branch, Bank of China; Michelle Vien, senior manager, Real Estate Finance Division, Eastern Canada, CIBC and Olivier Legault, senior partner architect, BLTA. Photo courtesy Brivia Group

A 19-storey mixed-use real estate project will soon be built on the former site of Montreal’s historic Loew’s Theatre, giving the city’s Mainsfield Street a new look.

A significant presence of asbestos and important structural constraints made it impossible to preserve what remained of the dilapidated theatre, other than the footbridge over the north alley. In addition, subdivision of the interior over the years damaged the characteristic spatial sequence, affecting the historical value of the building. However, in keeping with developer Brivia Group’s commitment to Montreal’s heritage, the company is constructing a project in its place to carefully integrate into its immediate surroundings, which comprise a number of buildings of architectural interest.

The design will reconnect Cathcart and Metcalfe streets and recall the site’s cinematic past with a dome above the main entrance soffit which will emulate the ceiling of the original theatre. Pedestrians will be immersed in an urban mural, bringing together elements inspired by the former Loew’s Theatre.

As site excavation begins, 226 residential units in the downtown core take one further step toward realization. Future residents of the project will have the opportunity to live next to Sainte-Catherine Street, as soon as 2024.

Béïque Legault Thuot Architectes (BLTA), the project architects, have reflected the various uses of the site in their vision. At the forefront of urban life, an outdoor pool on a rooftop terrace overlooking Dorchester Square and the shops and boutiques of downtown Montreal will be one of the main features of the building.

“Redeveloping a symbolic site such as the former Loew’s Theatre requires knowledge and sensitivity, and I am particularly attuned to what this place represents,” says Kheng Ly, founder, president, and CEO of Brivia Group. “As a Montrealer, I understand the attachment of citizens and the community to traces of the past. Here at Mansfield, we will strive to recall the great hours and moments experienced by the Montrealers who, for decades, filled the seats at the Loew’s Theatre. I want this atmospheric alley to be a time-tested reminder of the site’s cultural past.”

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