CBC building is located near the St. Lawrence River between René-Lévesque BLVD and Viger Street, near the vast Molson Brewery. Surrounded by never-ending parking, the tower is part of a huge lot cut from south-center district south of the Gay Village. This zone was once called by former mayor Jean Drapeau the “Cité des Ondes” aka City of Media. The tower of Radio-Canada is really detached from the city center, giving the impression that it has the same high as other Montreal’s skyscrapers. The creation of this vast complex with underground recording studios needed the demolition of more than 1,200 apartments in one of the poorest neighbourhoods of the city at this time.
Short history of Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
The CBC was founded in 1936 to replace the CCR (Commission Canadienne de Radiodiffusion aka “Canadian Board of Broadcasting”) a governmental institution which was managing 8 public broadcasting stations. Soon its Montreal offices are installed on Dorchester Boulevard (René-Lévesque) in former Ford Hotel. The French station (CBF) is open in 1937 and with its new broadcasters; nearly 76% of the population now has access to national diffusion.
In 1941 the corporation created its news service and in 1945 CBC International is officially launched.
Since 1952, the CBC broadcasts television programs. It is not until 1955 that 66% of Canadians have access to public television.
The color television came in 1966 and then, in 1968, a new law confirms the role of CBC as a national broadcaster. It is also the year CRTC is created.
The building of the CBC is surrounded by wide exterior parking lots, lands who could take bigger development and buildings that would deliver more value. In March 2008, it was possible to see a redevelopment proposal of its land at the exposure Montreal of The Future. Models showed a tower surrounded by office buildings, housing of different height and continuation of South Center’s streets once abruptly cut at the boulevard Rene-Levesque. Green spaces and small pack would be spread between new buildings. The project would correct the urbanism error perpetrated during the construction of the complex and decried by many since.
Because everything is not under the control of CBC, the reconstruction project of Notre-Dame expressway may seriously compromised the CBC extensive planning project.