Building Magazine


Place milie-Gamelin getting a low-tech, citizen-led overhaul

Place Émilie-Gamelin in the Quartier des Spectacles will have a new look between May 7 and October 4. An original temporary arrangement, centred on multi-functional facilities, will be the setting for exciting cultural and citizen-led activities as soon as the warm weather returns. Led by the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership with the help of partners and the Ville-Marie Borough, Les Jardins Gamelin is aimed at encouraging all Montrealers to use this public space in the heart of the city more often, with the ultimate goal of making the space a major tourist attractions.

To design the new layout, the Partnership commissioned Montreal-based Pépinière & co, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote, inspire and showcase creativity through urban projects, for example the successful Village Éphémère 2014. The new facilities will include repurposed shipping containers hosting bar and restaurant services, a large patio inspired by classic German beer gardens covered by a luminous canopy, a stage, and areas dedicated to urban agriculture and a local produce market.

This green, welcoming public space will be ideal for small and medium-size events. In addition to the sculpture by Melvin Charney, which has been illuminated since last year, a new architectural video projection on a building adjacent to Place Émilie-Gamelin will be unveiled, as will a superb hanging illuminated work. 

In addition to the elements produced by Pépinière & co and the Partnership, numerous partners have been invited to participate in animating the space, such as Montréal complètement cirque and Montreal Pride will return this year, and several other events will use the space for the first time, including the OFFTA live art festival, the Festival international de littérature and the Montreal Country Festival. Nearby institutions such as the Université du Québec à Montréal and Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec will also contribute to the summer program. 

Place Émilie-Gamelin was inaugurated to help celebrate Montreal’s 350th anniversary. It is bounded by Berri, Saint-Hubert and Sainte-Catherine streets and De Maisonneuve Boulevard, and is one of six public spaces managed by the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership.

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