The Young Project

The Young Project brings together about 20 cultural and community organizations, artists and social entrepreneurs for a 22-month period in a vacant industrial building in Montréal’s Griffintown neighbourhood.

Transitional use of a vacant building

Montréal has hundreds of vacant and underutilized buildings, many of them owned by the municipality. An initiative of the Future Cities urban innovation strategy, the Transitional Laboratory aims to match the owners of some of these buildings with community groups, including social innovators, artists and cultural associations for the purpose of reducing costs, bringing together visionaries in a collaborative and dynamic space, and allowing projects that are in their infancy to take off.

The Transitional Laboratory pilot project

In 2017, the MIS worked side-by-side with its partners, including Entremise, to develop the first pilot project of the Transitional Laboratory, the Young Project, which was inaugurated in March 2018 in a municipal building at 204 Young Street for a time frame of 22 months. Fully in line with Montréal’s philosophical movement in urban social innovation, this is the first project of its kind in Montréal. 

Once again, the MIS played the role of facilitator, providing advice and resources for this important initiative, in keeping with our mandate of creating the winning conditions for social innovators to take the sometimes perilous step between ideation and realisation.

Integrating the Young Project

A call for applications for project leaders interested in participating and bringing the venue to life was launched in December 2018. The MIS contributed to the committee for the selection of projects and participants. The MIS’s presence in the Young space aims to support initiatives by accompanying them in structuring and bringing to maturity their projects, up to the incubation, acceleration and scaling phases supported by other actors in the Montréal ecosystem.

Project partners

The Transitional Laboratory is the result of a public-private-philanthropic partnership that allowed the MIS to link to the Ville de Montréal, Entremise and the McConnell Foundation’s Cities for People program. The project was supported by the government of Québec through the Fonds d’initiative et de rayonnement de la métropole (FIRM), administered by the Secrétariat à la région métropolitaine of the ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Occupation du territoire.

“By providing access to a municipal building to host the first pilot project in transitional urbanism, our administration is assuming its role as a leader and exemplary property owner, as it committed to do in the Heritage Action Plan 2017–2022. Since many entrepreneurs, community groups, artists and citizens are looking for spaces to carry out their projects, offering them vacant public buildings on a temporary basis is a matter good management. Rather than paying to keep buildings empty, we will encourage entrepreneurship, community work, cultural life and job creation. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

— Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montreal

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