Too big to fail? Plans for an office tower behind downtown The Bay criticized for being too tall

It's hard to overstate how big the Hudson's Bay Company looms in Canadian history, but plans for a 25 story office tower in downtown Montreal may be too big, even for them.

The plans for the glass tower, which would be located on the northwest side of The Bay's iconic location on Ste-Catherine St. are the subject of a recent report by Montreal's consultation office. That report recommended the project be downsized.

The original plans include space for both restaurants and retail and would be tall enough to require a zoning exception. The current allowable height is 65 metres, while the 25 story structure would be 120 metres if built as planned.

During virtual consultations, the plan was hailed by the business community but criticized by Heritage Montreal and Friends of the Mountain, who said it would affect the aesthetics of the area negatively and would blot out views of Mount Royal. 

In a statement, the City of Montreal said a balance is needed between the city's heritage and economic activity and city officials plan to aid the developer in re-imagining their concept.  

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