François Cardinal talks about whether Montreal is a “ville de design” or not. I don’t think this is a question susceptible to a yes-or-no answer, but I tend to feel that the trend over the last ten years to infill every possible space with interchangeably bland condo buildings is kind of an argument that it isn’t.
I wonder if people used to feel the same way about the rows of triplexes with exterior staircases that are typical of the older residential parts of town. I was on the bus today going down a leafy block of rue Bordeaux in Rosemont and it felt like the real Montreal – nice trees, staircases, vintage triplexes with some visual variation but a unifying format. I actually sighed with pleasure at the perfect sample of Montreal-ness – but I have positive associations with that kind of urban layout, which might not seem idyllic to everyone.
Also: does “design” automatically mean “architectural design”? Graphic design and fashion design certainly add to the city’s vibe.