Lemay celebrates 60 years

Nick Myall
Wednesday 04 Oct 2017

For 60 years Lemay has displayed the capacity of an industry leader blended with the creativity of a boutique firm resulting in some unique projects

As Lemay celebrates 60 years of groundbreaking design, a review of its most defining projects—Montreal’s Four Seasons Hotel and Residences, the Bibliothèque du Boisé, Montreal’s Place Vauquelin and Place d’Armes, the new international jetty at Montreal-Trudeau Airport, Quebec City’s Paquet Wharf and the protective glass casing of the Grand Théâtre de Québec; the coastal promenade of the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, the Holiday Inn’s glamorous new look in Brooklyn, NY—is proof that its long and much-awarded history shapes its present and future as one of Canada’s leading integrated design services firms.

“In many ways, our work embodies Quebec’s own evolution over the past six decades,” said Louis T. Lemay, president and excellence facilitator for the integrated design firm, which was founded in 1957 as an architectural practice.

“We began with groundbreaking models of functionalist architecture that reflected Quebec’s new openness to the world,” he said, referring to Montreal’s Church of Saint-Jean Baptiste de La Salle, Cégep André-Laurendeau and branch offices for Quebec-based financial institutions.

Lemay then went on to define the Montreal skyline and contemporary cityscape with the city’s tallest building, 1000 De La Gauchetière; the brilliantly multimodal, 21,000-seat Bell Centre; the Caisse de dépôt et de placement’s landmark Édifice Jacques-Parizeau, in which Lemay played a key role; and many others.

In recent years, Lemay’s reach has grown to revitalize heritage treasures, create sustainable living environments, brand top companies’ workspaces, showcase public institutions and create unforgettable public spaces. Its Bibliothèque du Boisé alone has won a record-breaking 21 design awards, including a joint award of excellence from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) and the Canada Green Building Council MD (CaGBC). Lemay has delivered designs across Canada and around the world, with a constant focus on the environment and leading practices in sustainable development.

“And now, we are building Montreal’s first smart vertical community,” said Mr. Lemay, referring to the innovative, multi-use Humaniti complex now underway in Montreal’s International District.

Lemay has the capacity of an industry leader and the creativity of a boutique firm. Looking ahead, Lemay is building its future success on its distinctive offering: innovation at the service of design excellence, net zero and integrated delivery.

Close to 450 Lemay professionals of various disciplines work together closely to produce exceptional projects that integrate architecture, interior design, urban planning and urban design, landscape architecture, branding and graphic design. Through these complementary, collaborating disciplines, Lemay’s vision is to become no less than the Canadian leader and a world reference in the integrated design of sustainable living environments. In support of this vision, it recently merged with Calgary-based Toker & Associates, an award-winning architecture and interior design firm (now known as Lemay + Toker in Western Canada), bolstering Lemay’s pan-Canadian presence.

For its anniversary, Lemay has launched several employee recognition projects, and is championing employees’ own initiatives such as a beekeeping venture, fundraising for a local NGO, participation in community events and promoting green transportation.  

For its clients and the public, Lemay has launched an Instagram contest and will be hosting a series of round-tables starting in November, as well as a travelling exhibit of its key projects within their historical context.

A longtime tenant of Montreal’s South-West borough, Lemay also recently unveiled its 60th anniversary gift to the community: “The Pheonix of Human Rights”, a mural painted on the outside wall of a former warehouse now housing Lemay’s main Montreal office at 3500 Saint-Jacques St.

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