The problem with "Downtown Laval" is that it never stood in the same place for more than 20 years. When they founded the city in 1965, it was planned that it would become a second metropolis in Greater Montreal, with around 1M inhabitants by 2000, based on the amazing growth the island was knowing back then. They planned to build a downtown area from scratch around A15 and St-Martin Boulevard. They had this great idea to start developing the land with huge malls, thinking office buildings and apartment towers would follow.
But yeah, it didn't. Carrefour Laval was built in the 70's (moving the downtown plans to the north) and it took 15 years for those towers on my latest picture to exist, even more for the few condominiums in the area (2010's, mostly). And then they imagined Centropolis, which is really just two retail streets with an awful lot of parking space (and a theater shaped like a UFO, because why not). When they built the metro extension to Montmorency, the new plan was to create a brand new downtown area (another one!) around 2-3 km south from what remains the "CBD". The result is a complete mess, with parking lots and undeveloped land surrounding ugly towers, because the former administration let the promoters build whatever they wanted. Everything was rushed like nowhere else. In terms of covered area, we may have a downtown as sprawled as Montreal's, but with less than 20 midrises. Our tallest has a clock on top of it and is around 80 m tall. Yup.
However, a new master plan is coming soon and the process is going well (http://www.repensonslaval.ca/schema
), including talks with promoters, citizens and organisations. Big efforts are being put to turn downtown Laval into a decent neighborhood in the next 20 years, and it looks pretty good on paper. Now we have to hope they don't f*ck up like Vaillancourt did (although he had good ideas for the downtown's future, he is the one who ruined it in the first place, and the police had other plans for him too... )