"La boîte à tout le monde" community centre

About this project

Located in the heart of Saint-Michel in a true oasis of greenery that looks onto the Francon Quarry, the George-Vernot swimming pool is a fixture in the memories of generations of children who learned to swim there.

A new purpose for the Georges-Vernot swimming pool, which closed in June 2015 due to the age of the facility, is a unique chance to create a truly promising project for Saint-Michel that is intimately linked to the Francon Quarry project and based on values of economic, environmental and social development.

Renewing these spaces also means preserving the collective and individual memory of their past.

Early childhood and community groups share a vision for the future of this building and surrounding environment—a vision that requires creating a shared location that provides community and educational services as well as access to green space and play areas.

In alignment with sustainable development principles, the project has been devised with mixed purposes to meet local needs while integrating the concept of citizen involvement and community empowerment.

The project will provide space for community agencies in the territory that desperately need it as well as for an early childhood centre (CPE), a collective kitchen, and a multipurpose room. “La boîte à tout le monde” will help create a healthy, dynamic and inclusive environment that better meets the needs of Saint-Michel residents.

The project partners want to do things differently and mark the change from a sectoral approach to an integrated one. They also want to express the desire and capacity of Saint-Michel residents to promote community life through living spaces where everyone has a place and where the idea of “cohabitation” takes on its full meaning.


Source: Vivre Saint-Michel en santé

Global objectives

  • Create a dynamic and inclusive environment by letting different community agencies and an early childhood centre cohabit the same building.

  • Better meet the needs of families (youth, children, seniors) by coordinating resources and infrastructure and pooling services.

  • Create a healthy living environment with lots of green space and a low environmental impact that provides an oasis of nature in the territory.

  • Benefit from the expertise of local social and community stakeholders by making the process a model for innovative collective action and development for and by the community.

In fall 2017, the Centre éducatif et communautaire René-Goupil, which was originally called “La boîte à tout le monde,” celebrated its 40th anniversary. This name was therefore chosen again to honour the commitment of Saint-Michel residents to developing their community.