Quartier des spectacles

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Quartier des Spectacles
Place des festivals, at night.
Place des festivals, at night.
Quartier des Spectacles is located in Montreal
Quartier des Spectacles
Quartier des Spectacles
Location of Quartier des Spectacles in Montreal
Coordinates: 45°30′37″N 73°33′50″W / 45.51028°N 73.56389°W / 45.51028; -73.56389Coordinates: 45°30′37″N 73°33′50″W / 45.51028°N 73.56389°W / 45.51028; -73.56389
Country Canada
Province Quebec
City Montreal
Borough Ville-Marie
Place des Arts, facing Sainte-Catherine Street.
2-22 Sainte-Catherine Est.

Quartier des Spectacles is an arts and entertainment district located in the eastern section of Downtown Montreal, designed as a centre for Montreal's cultural events and festivals. Quartier des spectacles is member of the Global Cultural Districts Network.

With a total area of almost a square kilometre, its boundaries are City Councillors Street, Berri Street, Sherbrooke Street and René Lévesque Boulevard, encompassing all of the district known as Montreal's Latin Quarter.

First proposed in 2002, the area is intended to home to 30 performance halls totalling almost 28,000 seats, including the Place des Arts cultural complex, as well as international festivals, art galleries and centres for the exhibition and broadcast of alternative culture. The Quartier des spectacles hosts nearly 8,500 jobs linked to cultural activities, from education and creation to production, exhibition and broadcasting.

The area is now home to many of Montreal's major festivals, including the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the Francofolies and the Just for Laughs comedy fest. Urban design features of the district include concert spaces, tiered greenspace and stonework, illuminated fountains, new lighting, mist machines, bike paths and illuminated walkways.[1]

The central public space for the Quartier is the Place des Festivals (fr), a new urban square located on the "Balmoral Block" on Jeanne Mance Street, facing Place des Arts, which has become a focal point for outdoor events. Features of the square include a water fountain with 235 in-ground jets, four light towers, two glass-encased restaurants, a grassy slope and granite walkways.[1]

New facilities[edit]

Édifice 2-22 (fr) is a cultural centre specialized in contemporary art and a ticket office at the corner of Saint Catherine Street and Saint Laurent Boulevard, designed by French architect Paul Andreu.[2]

Maison du développement durable (fr), adjacent to the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde and designed by Menkès Shooner Dagenais LeTourneux Architects, is only the second building in Canada to obtain the sustainable building certification LEED Platinum.

The district includes the Louis Bohème, a 28-storey condo tower designed by Menkès Shooner Dagenais LeTourneux Architects, which had approved by the city despite objections from Montreal International Jazz Festival president Alain Simard.[3]

In the fall of 2017, the National Film Board of Canada is scheduled to move its headquarters to Montreal's Quartier des spectacles, in a new building being constructed by the city of Montreal, adjacent to the Place des festivals square. The NFB will occupy the first four floors of the structure, which will allow the NFB to closer contact with the public, and expanded digital media research and production facilities.[4]


Pre-existing facilities[edit]

Cultural facilities already in the area include:

Demolished features[edit]

The area lost a key arts venue with the demolition of the Montreal Spectrum.[8] Sixty-seven mature crabapple trees were cut down in a small square, Place Albert-Duquesne.[9]

Montreal's former red light district on Saint-Laurent Boulevard is being demolished, with the facades of six buildings dismantled for possible future reuse, in a move condemned by advocacy group Heritage Montreal.[1]


In 2008, Mayor Gérald Tremblay stated that the project would come in as budgeted at $120-million, and spur development in the immediate neighbourhood, with a projected $1.9 billion in private investment.[10]

In June 2012, it was reported by the Montreal Gazette that the cost of the district's public spaces alone would be $147 million, with $67 million from the city of Montreal and $40 million each from provincial and federal governments. In 2011, Montreal’s auditor-general criticized the city for hand-picking one non-profit corporation, Angus Development, to build the 2-22 building and redevelop Saint-Laurent Blvd., and for failing to open the process up to tender, losing money by selling city land at below market value. Inadequate underbeds, damage and wrong choice of joint sealers in 2011 also led to hundreds of thousands of dollars in repaving costs.[1]

Notable events[edit]

The 100th anniversary of the birth of Norman McLaren was marked by a National Film Board of Canada project entitled “McLaren Wall-to-Wall,” in which projections of short films inspired by four McLaren animated works were projected onto landmarks in the quartier, from McLaren’s birthday on April 11 to June 1, 2014.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d Heinrich, Jeff (June 2, 2012). "Quartier des Spectacles: Designed for one and all". Montreal Gazette. Montreal. Retrieved June 8, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Montreal entertainment district building to go up without federal help," CBC News
  3. ^ Lamey, Mary (2007-09-28). "Condos called catalyst for change in the Quartier des spectacles". Montreal Gazette. Canwest. Retrieved 2008-04-20. 
  4. ^ "L'ONF déménage dans le Quartier des spectacles à Montréal". CBC News (in French). Montreal. 25 September 2014. Retrieved 26 September 2014. 
  5. ^ "Théâtre TELUS - the new cultural destination in Montreal" (Press release). Canada News Wire. 2008-03-18. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  6. ^ DeWolf, Christopher (2008-01-27). "Cultural space to be built on Saint-Laurent metro". Spacing Montreal. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  7. ^ DeWolf, Christopher (2008-01-07). "Axel Morgenthaler on the Quartier des spectacles". Spacing Montreal. Retrieved 2008-03-27. 
  8. ^ Magder, Jason (2008-03-18). "Spectrum demolition approved". Montreal Gazette. Canwest. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  9. ^ DeWolf, Christopher (2009-04-12). "City chops down 67 crabapple trees". Spacing Montreal. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  10. ^ "'Quartier des spectacles' will be ready for showtime". CBC.ca. 2008-09-09. Retrieved 2008-10-21. 
  11. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (5 December 2013). "NFB Invites Artists to Celebrate McLaren's 100th". Animation. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 

External links[edit]