Case Study: La Grande Roue de Montréal

How a High-Traffic Tourist Attraction Site Achieved Weather-Resilient Paving Solutions


La Grande Roue de Montréal is the tallest Ferris wheel in Canada, standing as high as a 20-story building. The popular attraction is a tourist hotspot and offers the already-charming city of Montreal serious travel appeal.

The observation wheel was inaugurated in 2017 as part of Montreal’s 375th anniversary, and this 60-meter tall landmark promises visitors an experience like no other, rain or shine, due to its climate-controlled compartments.

Giving visitors this kind of experience has boosted Montreal’s tourism rates, and designers for the La Grande Roue project knew that the exterior design project had its challenges. They’d need a solution that could stand up to high visitor traffic and match the accommodations of the world-class Ferris wheel.


Balancing Durability and Design Appeal

Montreal was listed as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Canada in 2017, and the designers for the La Roue project needed a paver design that could accommodate incredibly heavy foot traffic from day one.

The pavement design required low-maintenance materials to ensure that the attraction would remain open year-round and contribute to the important tourism-driven economy of Montreal’s Old Port. The region’s harsh winter’s also meant that the pavement had to resist snow and ice removal efforts for up to five months per year.

Aesthetically, the design would also need to match the character of the city. This high-profile project represented an appreciation of the city’s European heritage and a look towards Montreal’s bright future.

Design Solutions for the Future

The designer chose to work with the Mista Random paver and Blu 60 mm slab products from Techo-Bloc so Montreal’s newest attraction would have a durable and attractive concrete solution for the high-profile public space.

The design starts at the base of the Ferris wheel and extends to the nearby cafe and ice cream stand, offering the client over 10,000 square feet of weather-resilient pavement that will stand up to heavy tourist traffic, frequent pressure washing, heavy de-icing salt application and snow plowing over time.

By manufacturing its products to standards far beyond industry requirements, Techo-Bloc’s paving slabs and pavers have both very high density and low-absorption rates. This results in exceptional weathering ability and excellent resistance to de-icing agents, including rock salt.

The interlocking pavers and slabs from Techo-Bloc offered this design texture and character for a tourist-friendly exterior space, calling to mind European style while using modern texture and color. The pavers were also locally-made, reducing this project’s carbon footprint and helping the community feel connected to the attraction.

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