Turning Subway Cars into Buildings and Businesses

We advise the entrepreneurs behind the MR-63 urban revitalization project, a building and public space upcycling old Montreal subway cars as architectural and structural elements.

As an advisory board member, and as a local with a decade-long perspective on the neighborhood the project is implanting itself into, Jeff helps the MR-63 team (and its partners) with marketing insights and a socio-economic urban development perspective, emphasizing collective reappropriation of the land and commercial diversification to foster a more balanced and sustainable borough.

Why it matters

This reuse of decommissioned public transit equipment as cornerstones of a new public space, in addition to sustainably extending the wagons’ lifespan beyond their active duty life, seeks to unify the rapidly changing Montréal Quartier de l’Innovation (lit.: “Innovation District”) with:

  • the local residents’ needs for a new and appealing agora-like space that disrupts not just the uniformity of condominium towers, but also geo-economics, by adding some much-needed diversity and affordability to the local business offerings;

  • their pride and brand affinity with Montréal’s public transit system and the iconic subway cars that have reliably served the Montreal Metro for over 40 years;

  • the historical and cultural heritage of the old and new Griffintown neighborhood.

Regento believes MR-63 can be a game changer to bring balance to Griffintown’s rapid densification & gentrification, by not only offering a new public space for unconventional organisations and businesses, fostering diversity and inclusivity, and branding & marketing itself in a way that creates a collective sense of pride in the project and its surroundings—becoming a neighborhood staple, but also a trans-neighborhood initiative and a public attraction with international renown.