Palestre Unigym, commercial centre
The Destination Vanier project will move forward
In a vote that divided council, Gatineau’s elected officials voted 10 to 8 to move forward with the Destination Vanier project near the intersection of des Allumettières and chemin Vanier. The project spans the land along Vanier between the current project and du Plateau Avenue.
This decision did not please Councillor Maude Marquis-Bissonnette, a member of Action Gatineau who voted against the proposal. She would have liked to have postponed the adoption of the project to give residents a chance to express their views on the issue. According to the councillor, a delay would also have made it possible for her to take stock of the Unigym gymnastics palestra planned in this development.
“Examples abound for a project that is more focused on active and public transit. And it is integrated with the project of a fast-link in the west of the city, which should become its immediate neighbour. It seems to me that we can create more favourable environments, strengthen our pride and live better in our neighbourhood,” said Ms Marquis-Bissonnette.
The mayor of Gatineau, Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin, who voted with the other elected representatives of Action Gatineau for a delay in the project, expressed disappointment with the decision, arguing that the proposed model was “outdated” and that the council missed this opportunity to make a decision that would have allowed it to “sincerely fight climate change”.
The independent candidates who voted in favour of proceeding with the project in its current form justified their decision by arguing that postponing the city’s vote on the proposal would threaten the project, which has been dragging on for four years, and would call into question Gatineau’s position as a host city for business.
Audrey Bureau, who opposed Ms Marquis-Bissonnette’s proposal, said she supports the city in general and could not turn her back on the project at the last minute considering the developer has already been working for four years to modify the project. She noted, however, that the “megacentres” model is outdated.
“Politically, as elected officials, we play the role of legislator. If a project is presented to us, but it complies with our regulations, I believe that it is the regulations that must be addressed quickly, not the project. The vision we have for our city must be reflected in our bylaws and plans,” said the Aylmer Councillor.
The Destination Vanier megacentre project will include large chain-type commercial buildings as well as a significant number of parking spaces and a large gymnasium. The palestra will be approximately 20,000 square feet, the largest gymnastics palestra in Unigym. Its location is intended to be behind the arteries of boulevard des Allumettières and chemin Vanier.
Additional accesses will be added to alleviate vehicle congestion at this intersection.