Groups join forces on a collaborative project to revitalize downtown Montreal

“With its $25 million relaunch plan, announced this spring in collaboration with the Quebec government, the Ville de Montréal’s goal is to revitalize downtown and attract more visitors,” said Montreal mayor Valérie Plante.

The Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, Montréal centre-ville and Tourisme Montréal join nearly 200 partners in announcing Les aventures du cœur de l’île, an initiative made possible by the Ville de Montréal and the Gouvernement du Québec.

Les aventures du cœur de l’île is the product of this major collaborative effort: a set of welcoming urban designs and a varied program of activities designed to showcase downtown Montreal and attract and entertain visitors. Fun and safe walking routes, cultural activities, pedestrian zones, green spaces and special activities will begin in June and continue until the fall.

“With its $25 million relaunch plan, announced this spring in collaboration with the Quebec government, the Ville de Montréal’s goal is to revitalize downtown and attract more visitors,” said Montreal mayor Valérie Plante. “This will boost business for retailers, restaurants and bars, which have suffered badly during the pandemic. I am delighted to see the enthusiastic response and creativity of the organizations involved. There is no question that downtown will be lively this summer, and I invite Montrealers to come enjoy it and make the most of their city in the coming months.”

Chantal Rouleau, the minister responsible for the Metropolis and the Montreal Region added, “I am pleased that downtown remains a focal point for the city. In recent months, it has been deeply impacted by the prolonged absence of workers, tourists and students, but we know that its DNA remains intact. And that is a good thing, because the entire city and province benefit from the influence of a strong, attractive and lively downtown core.”

“The major project we are announcing today is the result of an unprecedented mobilization effort. With this collaborative project, we are demonstrating not only the cultural and economic vitality of downtown, but the creative strength of its ecosystem,” said Monique Simard, chair of the board of directors for the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership. “Les aventures du cœur de l’île offers an exciting summer program, many new urban designs and inspiring art projects. We are confident that they will help the heart of the city emerge from the crisis stronger, more united and more attractive than ever.”

Starting June 4, Les aventures du cœur de l’île will include a fun, safe and participatory series of stops. The spaces and activities have been designed for the general public, families and the city’s many different social and demographic groups. Eleven Oases created by local designers, in collaboration with institutions and organizations based in neighbouring communities, will provide inviting spaces to eat, relax and socialize while enjoying the island’s wonders.

For more information on pedestrian zones in downtown Montreal this summer, click here. [ ]

From June until the fall, theatre, dance, music, circus, comedy, visual arts and digital art will all be presented, to help audiences and artists reconnect through art.

In addition, an original and engaging dance show by local artists will be presented spontaneously all season. The façades of some of downtown’s most iconic buildings will be the canvas for a major group art project featuring the faces of Montreal. To link the various activities, Oases, performance venues and activities organized by cœur de l’île partners, a walking route will create an enjoyable connected experience.

Full details of the program for Les aventures du cœur de l’île will be released in the coming weeks.

This summer relaunch project is also an opportunity to bring together more than 200 downtown partners and unify their summer attractions and activities over a 9 km2 area. From east to west, the project’s festive colours will be seen in the partners’ and collaborators’ activities presented in public spaces.

In addition to the famous pedestrian zone along Sainte-Catherine St. in the Village, a new one on Saint-Denis St. in the Quartier Latin will provide a festive ambiance and original street furniture – a perfect place for after-work drinks and all kinds of activities. Meanwhile, the summer program at BAnQ will highlight the neighbourhood’s history and mark the hundredth anniversary of the Archives nationales du Québec with a new video projection on the library’s outer walls.

Old Montreal will feature a series of beautification initiatives, with installations and temporary urban designs aimed at enhancing the visitor experience in the historic, restaurant-rich neighbourhood. The Pointe-à-Callière museum is setting up an outdoor space in Place d’Youville that will be both educational and relaxing. The Palais des congrès de Montréal will present artworks as well as collaboration spaces to contribute to the resumption of regular activities in the city’s downtown. The Créer des ponts project by Art Souterrain will support emerging artists and the real estate industry by setting up artists’ studios in 30 vacant storefronts. The spaces will be open to the public, stimulating the downtown core with an abundance of art.

The Grande-Place in Complexe Desjardins will be transformed into a dedicated space for Cubes du bonheur, an art installation presenting portraits of Montrealers in unusual settings or enjoying life’s simple pleasures. The McCord Museum’s packed calendar will include an outdoor exhibition revisiting memorable gatherings in Montreal over the last 100 years.

Starting in June, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts will present an immersive installation on du Musée Avenue called La Dérive, a tribute to glaciers by the Incognito Collective with the participation of Innu author Joséphine Bacon. In the next few weeks, Ivanhoé Cambridge will announce its summer programming for its downtown properties. Aux Alentours will present unique experiences at the Eaton Centre, Place Montréal Trust, Esplanade Place Ville-Marie and The Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth.

XP_MTL will offer three custom walking routes this summer as well as creating two of the oases for Les aventures du cœur de l’île. In addition to facilities provided for people to take a break, eat a snack or enjoy a drink, spontaneous performances will make time spent standing in line pass quickly and provide yet another good reason to visit downtown Montreal.

This year, the merchants of Crescent St. will set up sidewalk stands and other attractive features to welcome customers back to the charming street, with its century houses and custom-made green spaces. From late May to late October, Peel St. will host the second edition of the Peel Mtl Foodies Festival, a culinary event showcasing the diversity of the street’s restaurant strip between Sainte-Catherine and Sherbrooke streets.

In late June, a website will be launched listing all of the initiative’s walking routes, programming and partners. Until then, follow them on Facebook [ ] and Instagram [ ] for details.

—Les aventures du cœur de l’île

—The Quartier des Spectacles

—Montréal centre-ville

—Tourisme Montréal


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