After fourteen brutal months of non-stop construction, the closure of several prominent businesses and some eerily quiet days on a street normally known as the Main, St. Laurent Boulevard is back: work is now officially finished on the renovations between Sherbrooke St. and Mount Royal Ave. New water mains have been installed, fire-optic cables laid and sidewalks widened, all in the name of modernizing Montreal’s most iconic street.
To celebrate the symbolic re-opening of the street, St. Laurent merchants will be hosting a party this Saturday, December 8th. In the afternoon, artists will be invited to decorate the street’s trees as part of a fundraiser for Le Chaînon. Some shops will offer a 5 à 7 to customers and many will be open until 11pm. Afterwards, DJs will take over a number of St. Laurent bars for an event sponsored by Laïka and Meg Montréal. More details can be seen at the Société de développement du boulevard Saint-Laurent’s website.
As an added bonus, parking along St. Laurent will be free for the next several months as the city waits until the spring to reinstall parking meters. (I have to ask, though, if parking is going to be free, why can’t the 55 St. Laurent bus be free, too?)
There’s more going on next week, too. On Tuesday, December 11th, the Friends of St. Laurent will host a series of presentations from students at Université de Montréal’s faculty of urban planning on the history of St. Laurent between Rachel and Mount Royal. It will be led by architecture professor and Mile End historian Susan Bronson. The event will take place from 5pm to 7pm at Le Divan Orange, 4234 Saint-Laurent (near Rachel). If you want to attend, RSVP before Monday by calling Alfonso Esparza at 514 286 0334 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.