Benny Farm is a 7.3-hectare (18-acre) property located in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce area of Montréal that originally consisted of 384 apartment units built in 1946 and 1947 in response to an increasing need for post-war housing. Following the acquisition in 1999 from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Canada Lands Company relocated the existing Benny Farm tenants into newly constructed buildings on the site. 

There were differing opinions within the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce community regarding the direction of the Benny Farm project; and many diverse and competing views on how the redevelopment should proceed, Canada Lands remained determined  and found a uniquely tailored solution that would incorporate and consider differing perspectives. As such in July 2002, Canada Lands launched a comprehensive community-led process to develop the objectives for the future use of the property.

In October 2002, the Benny Farm Task Force was established and issued a series of objectives for the site. The Benny Farm Task Force called for more affordable housing, community services,  more social diversity and housing for groups with the biggest needs. This feedback helped Canada Lands guide the preferred master plan for the redevelopment. Canada Lands continued its cooperative work with stakeholders to move the Benny Farm project forward. The completed site included 570 private rental and subsidized housing units designed for low and moderate-income households and included a social services centre, recreation centre and daycare facilities. 

The Benny Farm project and its builders won numerous national accolades and awards to honour its unique construction and engineering, including:

•    The Ordre des architectes du Québec’s 2000 Award of Excellence in Residential Architecture 
•    The Canadian Society of Landscape Architect’s 2001 Award for Regional Merit
•    The Governor General’s 2002 Medal for Architecture (won in conjunction with Saia, Barbarese/Laverdière, Giguère Architects)
•    The Real Property Institute of Canada’s 2005 Group Award for Comprehensive Planning
•    The Urban Development Institute of Québec’s 2005 Award of Excellence
•    The Canadian Urban Institute’s 2006 Award for Urban Leadership 

The redevelopment of Benny Farm had achieved a full circle result, having started from postwar housing for veterans and their families, to seniors housing for aging veterans, and finally a newly complete community that would continue to provide intergenerational housing to many families for years to come. 

In 2006, a $3 million grant from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund was received to complete the process of ‘greening’ 187 newly renovated and constructed units at Benny Farm. Canada Lands is pleased to look back on the role it played along with the local community and stakeholders, to deliver much needed new affordable housing options in Montréal.