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Recognizing the need for an expanded base of operations so as to better supply the growing breweries and many distilleries in the region, The Canada Malting Corporation commissioned David Jerome Spence to design and build an elaborate processing complex at the corner of Saint-Remi and Sainte-Ambroise. The original facility, which included 9, then state-of the art, terracotta silos, was completed in 1905 and enabled for the output of an immense 250,000 lbs of malted barley per year. Given this enormous production, an additional 18 concrete silos for the storage of the prepared malt were added to the site in 1935.


Having strategically located these expanded operations along the Lachine Canal, Canada Malting was able to efficiently receive raw barley and subsequently ship the prepared malt via this vital artery, which had ultimately become the primary industrial corridor for nearly all of Canada. 


With the closing of the Lachine Canal in 1970, Canada Malting, like many of the enterprises located along this historic gateway, was forced to transport its product by train only using the Canadian National lines that serviced the area. Due to the significant drop in efficiency and increased shipping costs that this change represented, Canada Malting determined that the output of the facility was not large enough to justify remaining in this location and closed down all operations in 1980. 


The exit of Canada Malting began the decline of the facility which was ultimately abandoned in 1989 when CN ceased its rail line service along the canal. 


In many ways, the Canada Malting facility is an encapsulation of the history of the Lachine Canal. Having played an integral role in the development and success of the brewery and distillery industry in Montreal and likely Canada as a whole, the facility exists now as  the last and perhaps best reminder of a lost era - symbolizing both the heyday and the decline of the South-West of Montreal. Quietly, the buildings have bravely weathered the passage of time, the effects of gross neglect and abject vandalism to the point where they have become a canvas for the abstract expression of the angst of a community desperate for better services.


For Renwick Development, this project represents the opportunity to preserve an important element of Montreal's history while helping to support an under-serviced corner of Saint-Henri. While our concept is still in development, the overall approach would see for the decontamination of the property and the restoration and rehabilitation of the Canada Malting site, specifically the violet terracotta silos, the tower, and much of the original 1905 facility for the creation of a unique mixed use conversion angled specifically towards the addressing of many community needs. Our goal, simply put will be to demonstrate how private development can assume the responsibility of providing for social needs without the requirement of any government subsidies or financial assistance. Effectively, this project will allow for the creation of social housing, places of employment, destination services, an early child education and autistic rehabilitation centre, a shared work space dedicated to artists and their craft, a community / event space, public green spaces, a commemorative park, public access to the Lachine Canal and family oriented residences.


  • The restoration and reconstruction of 3 of the historic terracotta silos (closest to the canal) for the creation of a common leisure and recreation space

  • The preservation and restoration of the main facade of the original factory (c. 1905) along Saint-Ambroise

  • The reconstruction of the original plant - with a reduced footprint - according to the same varied heights and identical architectural details

  • The complete preservation, restoration and mixed use redevelopment of the concrete processing annex (c.1935) facing Saint-Remi

  • The complete preservation, restoration and family oriented residential redevelopment of the concrete silos (c. 1935)

  • The preservation and restoration of the original grain elevator tower and its reintegration into the project

  • The creation of a minimum of 65 distinct social housing units representing more than than 30% of the total number of projected units - within their own pavilion

  • The development of the Atelier Des Artistes facility (22,000 sq.ft.) - a collaborative work space uniquely for artists including 65 individual atelier studios,                                          with an event space and a community space in partnership with MassivArt and Atelier Creatif

  • The development of a facility (6,000 sq.ft.) for La Fondation Place Coco's Early Child Education and Rehabilitation Centre for Autistic Children

      with adjacent garden

  • The incorporation of a commercial area of approximately 10,000 sq.ft. for the creation of destination services as well as an event space for community and cultural gatherings

  • The creation of a public park along St. Ambrose commemorating the site's history and the role it played in the development of Saint-Henri and Montreal

  • The creation of green spaces, leisure areas, children play areas, an urban agriculture zone, an an interior courtyard garden

  • The creation of a public access to the Lachine Canal with the extension of the multi-use path to Saint-Ambroise as well as a visitation station depicting the history and                         chronology of the Canada Malting Facility.

  • 2 levels of underground parking, shared transportation options, active transportation options, and charging stations for electric cars

  • The creation of 175 family oriented units and townhouses with private gardens

Project cost - $120 Million 

Projected construction launch -  TBA

Projected Delivery - TBA

For more details on this landmark development, please visit

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