After long delays, the new public square located in the heart of the Quartier deslasses, in Montreal, opened on Monday. It will be devoted to art and reading in the summer and skiing in the winter.
Located at the corner of St. Catherine and Clark Streets, the place has been named “Esplanade Tranquille” in honor of bookseller Henri Tranquille, a literature enthusiast and advocate of free speech who worked there between 1937 and 1975 – and this is where Refus global Manifesto was launched in 1948.
Today, pedestrians will find benches, green spaces, and a self-catering library. There are plans to organize thematic tours, public art installations, intimate concerts and other activities related to the summer festivities.
In winter, the space will be occupied by a large refrigerated skating rink, where interactive works will be incorporated, and where activities will take place.
There is also a multifunctional pavilion in the arena, with production and storage rooms, a dining hall and a skaters room. However, this building is not yet ready to receive visitors.
The project has been in the works for a long time. It’s first scheduled to open in 2019, then 2020. Construction costs, initially estimated at 67.1 million, have risen to 78.8 million, Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante revealed.
“It took longer than expected,” admitted Quartier des glasses Partnership chairperson, Monique Simard. There has been a pandemic, as well as significant technical challenges. ”
For example, it was necessary to clear the land that was previously used as a police car park.
Valerie Plant noted that her predecessor, Dennis Coudrey, who is now her opponent in the municipal race, planned to build a multi-storey car park on part of the site. “When we took over, we wanted to think things through, and do something that met the needs. She emphasized that multi-level parking is not a necessity.
This work was made possible by funding of $40 million from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, awarded under the Major Projects Component of the Canada Building Fund – Quebec.
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