A neighbourhood rich in history
The old Côte-des-Neiges village has evolved throughout the 20th century, as agricultural lands were gradually converted into residential sectors.
In the 1920s, a building complex appeared in the Rockhill residential area. Already named Rockhill Apartments, the complex however only included then one hundred apartments across seven 3-storey to 7-storey buildings. During the urban development of the 1960s, Montreal and its surrounding areas underwent the construction of a few highly dense apartment buildings such as Westmount Square in Montreal or the Havre-des-Iles Complex in Laval. This also occurred on the Southwestern side of the mountain as two apartment towers were built on Forest Hill avenue, with a few more on the Chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges and on Ridgewood Avenue. Built in the 1970s, Rockhill Apartments included two 20-storey towers, and four 16-storey towers; thus becoming the largest residential complex in the area. As a neighbour of the St.Joseph’s Oratory, the property includes a section of the Oratory’s wood – incidentally, one of the most sought wooded areas of Mount Royal. The property included a total of 1,004 apartments and was owned at the time by the Manufacturers’Life Insurance Co. (known as Manuvie Financial since 1990). Developed by Montreal-based architects Menkes & Webb, the complex was built in multiple phases.
An impressive complex
Two 20-storey buildings and an underground parking lot were first built on a lot adjacent to the still-inhabited Rockhill Apartments from the 1920’s. This construction was followed by four 16-storey buildings from 1966 to 1968, following the demolition of the old buildings. Also added: a second parking lot, a commercial gallery, a community sports areas (pool, lockers, etc.) as well as an outdoor landscaping. The layout of all buildings allows for a large, cleared central area that includes a wide terrace oriented to the south. Despite the high density of this complex, this layout allows every building to benefit from maximum sun-lighting and views from the back of the Chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges. As two buildings are sitting at the limit of the constructible zone, digging directly in Mount Royal was necessary, which explains the presence of a rock outcrop.
From past to present
All buildings and the overall site benefited from changes throughout the years, including the addition of an awning and various landscaping in the surrounding of the main building, as well as the replacement of some materials. Ivanhoé Cambridge Residential, a subsidy of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, has acquired the entire property in July 2011.