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The acquisition of 600 Vanier Road: a step in the right direction
The Desjardins family recently acquired the land at 600 Vanier Road (Aylmer sector), which includes 25 acres of the Boucher Forest that will be preserved for the citizens of the city as well as for future generations.
Most of this land, totaling 80 acres, was previously zoned "1-storey industrial" before City Council amended its urban plan to allow for residential buildings up to 10 storeys, as well as low and medium intensity commercial.
Because of the new zoning ratified by the municipal council, Brigil will be able to develop a complete living environment, with local businesses that reduce the use of cars, while preserving spaces with high ecological value. In addition, this land is located very close to the structuring transportation project, thus favouring sustainable mobility.
On this land, there is a 30- to 50-year-old cedar forest and a 150-year-old maple grove, two jewels that Brigil is committed to protecting 100%. According to two independent environmental studies, the developable portion of the land acquired by Brigil is of low ecological value. It is home to a high level of buckthorn, an invasive exotic plant that is having a devastating effect on forest ecosystems. The project that the developer intends to undertake will greatly contribute to reducing the level of this harmful plant, to the benefit of the forest.
"I am a proud pro-environment activist who advocates for urban development based on reducing our dependence on the automobile. I am personally committed to the challenge of creating a project that will bring people together in harmony with the guiding principles of sustainable development," says Jessy Desjardins, Vice President of Development and Design at Brigil. Mr. Desjardins will soon be meeting with citizens’ committees to obtain their feedback in order to design a signature project that is both relevant and unifying.
Urban forests like the Boucher Forest play an essential role in ensuring the physiological and psychological well-being of citizens. For Brigil, it is essential to conserve it and ensure its protection and sustainability. With the support of the Boucher Forest Foundation, the developer intends to make the future community a welcoming gateway to the forest, easily accessible to all from the Plateau. An Interpretation Centre and a Departure Pavilion could be developed, in addition to a large public square.
In keeping with its mission of Building with purpose, the company is determined to integrate the project with nature, while protecting valuable natural spaces and reducing the invasion of buckthorn. Brigil intends to achieve this goal by integrating non-invasive native plants into the new project, by creating a dynamic community with local services (restaurants, pharmacies, cafés) and by favouring public spaces that bring people together: parks, plazas, well laid out streets, sidewalks, etc. All of this harmoniously incorporated into a project centered on structuring public transportation.
Brigil has great ambitions in terms of environmental certifications; it aims to design a project that is in harmony with the Forest, in respect of the environment and the mission of the Boucher Forest Foundation.
The Boucher Forest has a total of 741 acres.
Of this area, 110.7 acres are destined for the development of the future structuring transportation station and for residential development according to the new urban plan adopted by the municipal council.
The land Brigil has acquired comprises 80 acres, or 11% of the Boucher Forest.
Brigil is committed to protecting 25 acres, so the new community would be built on 55 acres, or 7% of the Boucher Forest.
« The land allows for residential construction, it was intended for development and the developer is right to want to develop it. What remains to be done is to do as much as possible with the developer to reduce the pressure on the forest. The real battle for the City of Gatineau, in my opinion, is to have a good acquisition plan to secure the other lands that do not belong to it and that are zoned recreational and multifunctional. »
Source : Le Droit
« It is too "easy" to claim the protection of 100% of the Boucher forest. "I challenge the person who wants to do this to evaluate what it would really cost and then look the citizens in the eye and tell them that the best thing to do for the environment in Gatineau with all these millions of dollars is to buy a piece of land with little ecological value. »
Source : Le Droit
« We have had discussions with Brigil and the company says it wants to respect the rules surrounding the protection of ecoterritory," she notes. If it is respected, it will not hurt the forest. »
Source : Le Droit
This map shows the different zones of the land. Zones 1 and 2 contain the maple grove and the cedar grove, two jewels that will be 100% protected by Brigil. Zones 3 and 4 contain fallow land and land invaded by buckthorn, a harmful exotic plant. It is here, in this low ecological value parcel of land, that the development will take place.
Source : CIMA+
This study, done at the request of the Boucher Forest Foundation, clearly indicates the priority ecosystems to be protected. On Brigil's property, the brown and green colors indicate the cedar and maple groves that the company is committed to protecting.
Source : Dandroica
The Boucher Forest is the last great refuge for wildlife in the Aylmer sector. Although the Boucher Forest is an urban forest, its size (over 700 acres) and its proximity to Gatineau Park (3.5 km to the north) allows it to preserve a great biodiversity. Help us protect it!
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