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Canal District of Montague

Success Story

The Canal District of Montague is a narrow island between the Connecticut River and a hydro-power bypass canal. Catastrophic mill fires, canal bridge closures, and failed land development led to sizable portions of the area degrading into a blighted state. In recent years, the Town has systematically acquired buildings and land within the Canal District as it presents an opportunity for reactivation of a historic riverfront, potentially benefiting the adjacent downtown. Through a consulting contract with MassDevelopment and funded in part by the state’s Urban Agenda program, a design team was assembled for a robust master planning process including community engagement and visioning, constraints and risk analysis, and urban and landscape planning. The results are now being used to mitigate environmental risks and move the Canal District forward to a more ecologically sound center of activity for the community to include housing, industry, clean energy generation, and open landscapes that celebrate the industrial heritage and a future cultural space.