The top four floors of the cross-shaped Place Ville Marie in Montreal are being renovated to open them to the public with an observation deck. (Ivanhoé Cambridge)

From the 46th floor of Place Ville Marie’s cross-shaped main tower, you can see how the building’s owner, Ivanhoé Cambridge, plans to make the massive complex feel more like a public space.

Construction workers mill about, prepping the empty floor to become a world-class tribute to Montreal. When it’s done, it will be an observation deck with sweeping views of the city – the skyscrapers, the mountain, the St. Lawrence River, the Big O – unadulterated from such great heights. A glimpse below, meanwhile, reveals a new street-level local market in the public square next door, slowly filling with lunchtime shoppers.

In 2013, Ivanhoé Cambridge bought the 50 per cent of the four-building-plus-mall complex it didn’t own from Alberta’s AIMCo for more than $400-million, and has since sunk an additional $100-million into it. By the end of 2014, Place Ville Marie became the largest existing complex in Canada to be certified LEED Silver for operations and maintenance.


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– Article published by The Global and Mail.
(Credit / image: The Global and Mail)