A fruitful project
After a long period of decline, Saint-Roch had trouble getting back on track. The creation of Jardin de Saint-Roch in 1993 marked a turning point. The City’s revitalization strategy would finally bear fruit. Beautify the neighbourhood, invest in quality of life, tap into the district’s creative resources—all these values came together in this city park and would spread far and wide.
A bold initiative
In the early 1990s, very few people saw the point of having an ornamental garden in the middle of a poor neighborhood where it could be ruined by crime. Many felt that it would be vandalized and feared that the project it would be a waste of time. The opposite occurred. Jardin de Saint-Roch had a decisive positive impact.
By demonstrating so clearly its respect for local residents with its beautiful new garden, the City showed that it was on their side. The garden restored the neighbourhood’s self-esteem and pride and reconnected it with the grandeur it had once known.
First phase of a coherent strategy
A waterfall, ornamental plants, and pretty streetlamps alone were not enough to breathe new life into the district, but as part of a well-conceived overall plan, Jardin Saint-Roch had a specific and fundamental role to play.
Nearby, renovation and reconversion of the Méduse complex and the Dominion Corset factory, as well as revitalization of rue Saint-Joseph, heightened the impact. In the 1990s various new buildings were constructed in the vicinity of the garden that were reflective of the four development priorities for Saint-Roch.
A neighbourhood with a purpose
Here on rue Parvis is an example of the first priority, housing. Condos have recently sprouted throughout the district, both newly built and in renovated older buildings. The second focus is education. At the corner of rue Parvis and boulevard Charest is École nationale d’administration publique du Québec and beside it the head office of Université du Québec and its offshoot, TÉLUQ, that provides distance learning. Across the street is INRS, near the downtown premises of Université Laval’s School of Visual Arts and Maison des métiers d’art de Québec. Complexe Méduse, on rue De Saint-Vallier, is the undisputed representative of the third priority, the arts. It is the district’s biggest artistic centre, but many more have appeared at the urging of the City, which has been eager to draw artists and studios to Saint-Roch. The last focus, new technology, is evident at the corner of rue de la Couronne and boulevard Charest, the location for CGI and Ubisoft, two of the many ICT companies that have chosen Saint-Roch as their place of business.
Truly, the garden is the beating heart of Saint-Roch’s rebirth.
Items found at the site. Ville de archeological collection.