Once a car-centric and narrow retail streetscape, Rue St. Hubert is now a beautiful urban treed, walkable, and enjoyable streetscape. The sustainable design meets the needs of pedestrians while prioritizing safety in a busy Montreal streetscape. Over 100 trees were planted in 2019 and 2020 along 8 blocks. They are projected to create an 8m (26ft) tree canopy by maturity with over 5m3 (530ft3) of soil volume per tree from DeepRoot Silva Cell.
Challenge | Solution
The Plaza St.-Hubert is host to 400 businesses and serves as a major commercial hub and a destination for residents and tourists alike in Montreal. To help further business growth and to strengthen the cultural, sustainable, social and commercial development, the City of Montreal initiated a two-year, multi-phase urban beautification. Begun in 2019, this project began with a modernization to the underground infrastructure to replace the aging water pipes, sewer system and prepare the public space for redevelopment. During the stormwater management design, leading landscape architect firm Stantec specified the DeepRoot Silva Cell to support the new street trees. The Silva Cells provide significant amounts of uncompacted soil volume providing each tree with 15.3 m3 of growth space for the root system and allow for integrated stormwater management.
Easy to install, the Silva Cells design is modular and flexible enough to work around utility conflicts. Contractor Eurova was able to use Silva Cell’s shortest option (1X) posts to “step over” existing utilities without breaking up the continuous soil volume trench for the street trees. “The ease of installation with DeepRoot’s Silva Cell system allowed us to have a higher installation rate and to complete the entire project on time,” Denis Huard at Bau-Quebec Ltee.
Thanks to the uncompacted soil volumes in the Silva Cells, the trees are expected to provide 8m canopies along the street. There are several green infrastructure benefits that come out of this project. An increase in sociability and reduction in noise and air pollution will be welcomed on this busy car and bus street are just a few examples. The sidewalks have been widened. Now as wide as a car lane along with rolled curbs make pedestrians and street trees the priority for this one-way vehicle and transit corridor, increasing the feeling of safety, drawing more people to the area by foot or bicycle. After two years of intense work, the Plaza features a range of retailers, restaurants, and entertainment venues to draw thousands of visitors from Montreal and beyond.