Place des Festivals on an Ordinary Day

place des festivals on an ordinary day

I have griped about the bike path and I have griped about the trees, but I also have to give credit where credit is due: I love the Place des festivals for giving us the biggest interactive fountain in Canada.

The keyword here is interactive: as the temperature reached the high thirties this week, the downtown square became an impromptu, all-ages water park.

fountain kids

Who knew there were so many kids and toddlers in the downtown core on a weekday afternoon? Many had gleeful, soaked through parents in tow.
just a toe

Cyclists wound around the fountain , risking a soaking when the jets suddenly double or tripple in size. Other passers-by stopped to dip in a toe.
fountain teens

Glorious relief from the sun-baked concrete!

place des spectacles fountains at night

Come night time, the fountains are richly lit and just as lively: this time it is teenagers who dance through the water in bras and underwear.

The QDS has made so many design compromises to tailor this public space to festival organizers. This fountain makes up for it a little by giving Montrealers something that we enjoy in our own way on an ordinary day. I have a feeling this – and not the promise of crowds and spectacles – is what will make the place matter to most of us.

So thank you QDS for investing the plans with a little bit of playfulness, and thank you Montreal for coming out to play.


  1. I walked through there on Monday night, and it was very busy. But busy in a lovely, city-coming-together way. It’s a great piece for that neighborhood, amidst all the other planning failures in that vicinity too. Thanks for giving credit where credit is due.

  2. The new fountains are great! Can’t wait to bike through them one of these days.

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