The plan for Shaughnessy features tree-lined and boulevards streets that follow the natural contours of the land. The centre-piece is The Crescent, close to Granville Street. The plan was produced in 1907 by Montreal landscape architect Frederick Todd and Danish engineer L.E. Davick. Todd had trained with Frederick Law Olmsted, best known as the designer of Central Park in New York and Mount Royal Park in Montreal.
Shaughnessy was promoted as an exclusive residential area with large lots, between 1/5 acres. The first Shaughnessy Official development Plan in 1982 enabled one and two family infill dwellings, which provided revenue to the landowners. First Shaughnessy is North ok King Edward , second and Third Shaughnessy are South of it and less exclusive. Design guidelines for First Shaughnessy encourage preservation of the architectural character. They encourage, but do not enforce, the preservation of authentic old buildings.
Property owners and their architects have interpreted the plan and its guidelines in different ways. The treatment of both infill dwellings and new principal houses includes some that are truly in the spirit of the historical sources. Other that adopt a gentle modernism that makes no waves and few that are boldly contemporary.
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