Place des Canotiers, Quebec

A prestigious public square on a heritage site bordering the St. Lawrence River. This project won an Award of Excellence in the Special projects category at the Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards 2019.

Photo credit: Clément Robitaille

With a surface area of 17,500 m2, Place des Canotiers is located at the heart of Old Quebec, which is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Once a vast paved parking lot, it now houses a service building, a four-level parkade with 400 parking spaces and a very elegant public square with water and mist fountains, and sub spaces showcasing various themes.

Place des Canotiers represents an investment of $35M, and was without a doubt the result of an extremely complex collaboration between various sectors of expertise, which called for an innovative approach to managing the multiple constraints involved, namely:

  • Partial location within a flood area
  • Tidal effects impacting excavation works along the river
  • Rehabilitation of contaminated soils across the entire site
  • Archeological excavations carried out during construction works

This project is an example of responsible engineering, taking into consideration both sustainability and climate change.

CIMA+’s engineers demonstrated boldness in designing a space below sea level to house all pumping systems for the fountains. They also innovated by harmoniously integrating technical equipment within a unique architectural concept. An impressive quantity of networks run underneath the square: storm drainage and sanitary sewer line systems, drinking water main, high-pressure and fountain water supply, electrical power supply, control and telecommunication cables, antenna systems, cameras, anemometers, level detectors and lighting power supply cables with powerline control signals. These networks discreetly operate under visitors’ feet and subtly give life to the various settings, during the day and at night, while showcasing this unique and iconic heritage site, which is also the gateway for cruise passengers who wish to discover Old Quebec.