Determined to provide residents and visitors with “an experience of summer comfort in the city,” Montreal has closed two and a half kilometers of a major urban street to vehicle traffic for the summer, opening it up to pedestrians and filling it with art, entertainment, food, and lots of plant-filled spaces to sit.
Designed as a “linear park”, the closed stretch of avenue du Mont-Royal is being promoted as a “long cool route” during Montreal’s famously hot and humid summer that will provide “an experience of summer comfort,” reports Métro.
Highlights will include a “food garden” of some 800 planters. Designed and filled by students from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and l’École nationale du meuble et de l’ébénisterie, the planters will be overflowing with everything from squash and berries to edible flowers and wild plants abuzz with bees and butterflies.
A more literal sense cool and wonder will come from the “water square” art installation Partiellement nuageux avec de fortes probabilités de « wow »! (Partly cloudy with a high probability of “wow”), a computer-generated, cloud-like structure that will float above Place des Fleurs-de-Macadam, constantly responding like a real cloud to changes in the weather.
Closer to the ground, pedestrians will get to take in jazz concerts, dancing, live painting demos, and open-air movies with free popcorn.
Stressing the sustainability of its new venture, an avenue du Mont-Royal release says all the installations bedecking the street during its closure are built to last—some, indeed, have been adapted for reuse from events last year. Most of the plants brought in to provide beauty and shade will be replanted elsewhere in the city at the end of the summer.