Posted on: December 18, 2023, 11:47h.
Last updated on: December 18, 2023, 11:47h.
Casino de Montreal is expanding its resort footprint on Notre Dame Island in Jean-Drapeau Park with a new 200-room hotel.
Loto-Quebec, the government organization that regulates and operates casinos and lottery gaming in the province, announced on Monday its plans to expand Casino de Montreal. The CA$150 million (US$112 million) project is expected to take two to three years to complete.
The hotel will be built adjacent to the current casino, which is located across the St. Lawrence River from St. Helen’s Island. Casino de Montreal does not currently offer on-site lodging.
The Casino de Montreal has been a landmark in this city for 30 years. We’re very proud to announce the construction of this hotel, as it’ll move the casino to the top among the best entertainment destinations. It’ll showcase Montreal beautifully,” said Jean-François Bergeron, president and chief executive officer at Loto-Quebec.
Casino de Montreal replaced the International Universal Exposition — commonly called Expo 67 — that was built for the 1967 World’s Fair. The casino has over 3,200 slot machines and 115 electronic and live dealer table games.
Loto-Quebec is a crown corporation that owns six resorts and gaming facilities. Along with Casino de Montreal, they are Casino du Lac-Leamy in Gatineau, Casino de Mont-Tremblant, Hotel-Casino de Charlevoix in La Malbaie, Salon de jeux de Quebec, and Salon de jeux de Trois-Rivieres.
Casino de Montreal attracts more than seven million visitors annually. Caroline Prouix, the minister of tourism for the Lanaudiere Region, said an accompanying hotel will enhance the destination’s attractiveness and “further increase Montreal’s visibility on the world stage.”
Not everyone agrees a hotel is what Jean-Drapeau Park is missing.
Parc Jean-Drapeau is a jewel that deserves to be developed further, but not by adding a luxury hotel. I cannot believe the city is going to let a hotel be built in the center of a prestigious park. This is a completely unacceptable commodification of public space,” said Craig Sauve, a city councilor.
Sauve added that the luxury hotel will primarily serve an “affluent clientele.” He opined that those guests will be provided with “beautiful views of the Formula 1 track from balconies and luxurious suites” while Montrealers “lose out as they lose access to an entire sector of Notre Dame.”
Early Planning Stages
Specific details of the Casino de Montreal hotel aren’t yet known, as Loto-Quebec says it’s only in the beginning stages of fielding bids from developers. However, the lottery and gaming corporation says it supports a “low-height building” with the “highest sustainability standards to minimize the environmental impact.”
Parc Jean-Drapeau is the third-largest park in Montreal at about 520 acres. St. Helen’s Island was named by the French explorer Samuel de Champlain, who discovered it in 1611, after his wife Helene.
St. Helen’s was privately owned until the British government acquired the site in 1818 and used it as a fort until the new Canadian government bought it in 1870 and converted it to a public park. The artificial Notre Dame Island was constructed for the 1967 World’s Fair.