The craftsmen and shopkeepers in the historic centre of Quebec joined forces some 30 years ago to create the Petit Champlain Neighbourhood Cooperative and not only do they collectively own 27 buildings in the area, but they also consider themselves to be the guardians of the district’s heritage. In 1985, the craftsmen established the Coopérative de solidarité du Quartier Petit Champlain and purchased the buildings with the help of the Société de développement des coopératives (SDC) du Québec (the Quebec Cooperatives Development Company) and the Caisses Desjardins. After a difficult start, the cooperative model proved itself to be an effective and profitable solution. The cooperative continues to strive to promote the district’s development and long-term future from a cultural, commercial and touristic point of view. One of the things which the cooperative does in particular is to supervise the nature of the artistic creations and products made available in the district.This restoration project represented an unprecedented approach in Canada and was designed to leave the marks of previous centuries visible upon the buildings and to breathe new life into this narrow and long street by returning it to its original purpose of being a district for craftsmen and artisans. The Petit Champlain district is now visited by hundreds of thousands of visitors every year and it constitutes a particularly successful example of the renewal of the built heritage of a changing historic centre.
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International Organisation of Industrial, Artisanal and
Service Producers' Cooperatives
Secretariat: C/O European Cooperative House - avenue Milcamps 105
1030 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 543 1033, fax: +32 2 543 1037