Getty Images Rue Saint-Louis, in Old Quebec
The City of Quebec presented, on Friday, its strategy to “breath a soul” into Old Quebec and prevent the sector becomes “a cardboard Walt Disney”.
The sector is famous for the capital, but has increasingly repelled the population for more than 20 years. The demographic decline of the “Old” has continued without interruption for two decades, discouraging local businesses from establishing roots there and at the same time reducing the services offered to citizens.
“This downward cascade is over,” vowed Mayor Bruno Marchand on Friday.
The City made a purchase offer to the University Hospital Center to acquire two properties, at an estimated cost of $8.3 million. The Nazareth reception center and the former Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague boarding school, both heritage and vacant, are located north of Place d'Youville, a strategic area where one of the most precious green spaces is located. » of Old Quebec, says the mayor.
The City intends to preserve both buildings, although it still needs to conduct an assessment to assess their condition. A major restoration project is taking shape to enhance these two buildings built in the second half of the 19th century. The City aims to convert 150 housing units in these two buildings.
Several vacant premises, located on the upper floors of buildings which house businesses on the ground floor on Rue Saint-Jean and Côte de la Fabrique, could accommodate new residents, believes the City . Some 22% of these vacant spaces are dilapidated, the city calculated. The latter, to encourage owners to rehabilitate their spaces, intends to grant them financial assistance, amounting to between $70,000 and $85,000.
Around thirty housing units could see the light of day “in the short and medium term”, according to the mayor. “Housing, analyzed the mayor, is really the basic issue if we want to bring residents back to Old Quebec. »
The City is also focusing on making the sector more attractive, in particular by promoting its pedestrianization and the return of a more substantial food offering than at present, where it is limited to a few convenience stores.
More details to come.