Old Quebec: Dallaire offers a roof for the most vulnerable

Promoter Michel Dallaire plans to build more than one hundred serviced apartments in Old Quebec for adults with autism and persons with severe physical or intellectual disabilities to take over from their aging relatives .

“Parents are looking for resources. They say, “What’s going to happen when I’m gone, where are my guys or my daughters staying, is there a place?” And Chief Executive Officer of Cominar, Michel Dallaire.

Volunteering for years at the Patro Roc-Amadour in Limoilou, the businessman has become familiar with the needs of the most deprived clientele, including parents of autistic adults and physically and intellectually handicapped people. Anxiety is growing, he says, when children reach their forties and are always in need of help, but those who lavish them age or die. “There is a reality. Half of them live with their parents, “he continues.

In view of this, he decided to convert his condo project in Old Quebec into a rental rental project with assistance for these two groups. It was on the land in front of Maison Mere-Mallet that he bought in 2013 from the Sisters of Charity of Quebec that he planned to erect a building with between 110 and 130 condominium units.


At the time, Mr. Dallaire had not only committed himself to maintaining the charitable vocation and the architectural character of Maison Mere-Mallet, but also to redistribute to the charity the profits of his new construction.

“I changed my mind,” says the businessman. It’s not condos that must be faced, it’s a continuity of the work and the infrastructure to help people in need, “he said. Before moving forward, Michel Dallaire first asked the nuns for permission to modify the plans for this site, which currently houses a boiler room and a parking lot.

Manpower sought

As they approved the project, Michel Dallaire also had to ensure that the municipality could erect such housing. She replied positively. He must now make an official request to the City of Quebec for the construction of social housing through existing programs. That’s not the problem, says Michel Dallaire. “My challenge is not just that they need a space to sleep, but they are people who need the people who will take care of them,” he explains. Since its expertise is on the buildings side, the developer is in contact with specialized organizations.

He plans to build two buildings with an inner courtyard where there will be greenery and infrastructure for the clientele. Michel Dallaire prefers, for now, not to encrypt the project he hopes to see the day in two to three years.


The President and CEO of Cominar also emphasizes the importance of creating synergy with the work that is already done at Maison Mere-Mallet. Since the departure of the Sisters of Charity, it has enhanced the offer by renting the newly vacant spaces to the YWCA and students in need. He is also in talks with the Portage organization, which is helping people with alcohol problems to also host them. “I believe that organizations must merge and pool their services,” argues Michel Dallaire. He is convinced that, with new housing for autistic and disabled adults across the street, mutual help and work will be facilitated on both sides of the street.

The project summary
Rental housing with service for autistic and heavily disabled adults
110 to 130 units
Construction to be completed by 2019-2020
On the ground opposite the Maison Mère-Mallet on the rue des Soeurs de la Charite


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