Loto-Québec plans to open a hotel next to the Montreal casino

It will join the Hilton Lac-Leavy and Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu as part of Loto-Québec’s real-estate portfolio.

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Loto-Québec announced plans Monday to build a 200-room hotel next to the Casino de Montréal on Parc Jean-Drapeau. The $150-million structure will be financed by Loto-Québec and is expected to open in two to three years on land belonging to the provincial lottery gaming association.

Final plans for the hotel have not been finalized, but the concept is to build a low-profile building of about four storeys that will sit on top of the casino’s underground parking facilities, located next to the casino, Loto-Québec president Jean-François Bergeron said.

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“The Casino de Montréal has been a landmark in this city for 30 years. … Its location at the heart of Parc Jean Drapeau will put this hotel in a class by itself. It will showcase Montreal beautifully.”

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante and Quebec Tourism Minister Caroline Proulx were on hand to welcome the project, saying it would enhance Montreal’s visibility on the world stage. Plante said the plan will ensure the protection of its surrounding environment and will fit in with a major overhaul of the public park planned for 2030 that is supposed to provide more green spaces, enhance accessibility to the St. Lawrence River and ban vehicle traffic.

The project was met with opposition by Montreal city councillor Craig Sauvé, who said he strongly denounces this “privatization of public space.”

“Parc Jean-Drapeau is a jewel that deserves to be developed further, but not by adding a luxury hotel,” said Sauvé, who sits as an independent. “I cannot believe the city is going to let a hotel be built in the centre of a prestigious park. This is a completely unacceptable commodification of public space.”

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Building a private hotel goes against a report filed by Montreal’s public consultation bureau following extensive public consultations in 2018 and 2019 that found “we must preserve and enhance the blue and green spaces of Parc Jean-Drapeau, its heritage and ‘the resolute affirmation of its public and accessible character,’” Sauvé wrote.

Montrealers will lose access to entire sector of Île Notre-Dame, he said, and the construction of a private hotel does not appear anywhere in the Parc Jean-Drapeau Master Plan recently adopted by the municipal council in 2021.

Plante responded that the hotel is being built on land adjacent to the casino owned by Loto-Québec and thus will not affect Montrealers’ access to the park and its green spaces. Organizers said environmental impact studies would be carried out.

Loto-Québec  president Bergeron said they’re estimating the hotel will run at a 75-per cent occupancy rate, in keeping with provincial averages. The provincial gambling organization still has to choose a hotel partner to pair with for the construction of the building.

The new hotel will join the Hilton Lac-Leavy and Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu as part of Loto-Québec’s real-estate portfolio.

The Casino was built in 1993, in the former France pavilion of Man and his World for Expo ‘67

This report will be updated.

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