Circuit D – Quartier des spectacles

Trip Start Nov 04, 2011
Trip End Jul 27, 2012

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Flag of Canada  , Quebec,
Monday, April 2, 2012

I got home from work around 5.30 and Trish was keen to head out for a walk and see some of Montreal. I was keen too as I had eaten way too much donuts and slices at work today for Steve Duggan's birthday. Circuit D was chosen and off we headed. It was a beautiful day outside with a lovely blue clear sky.

Circuit D showcases Montréal's cultural heart that literally brightens the night thanks to an innovative lighting plan. More than 80 cultural venues offer an exceptionally diverse array of activities: festivals, movies, plays, dance performances, art exhibitions, technological art displays, music concerts, operas, and comedy shows. At the heart of the district is the Place des Festivals, a public space entirely dedicated to year-round festivals, urban entertainment, and leisure, and serving as an arena for free artistic activities of all shapes and sizes.

First on the circuit was St James United Church. Built in 1889, this church, originally Methodist, has a Gothic-style exterior and Victorian interior. It is the largest Protestant church in Montréal.  There were heaps of trucks parked out the front of the church unfortunately for our photos, and we discovered when we walked around the back of the church that they were filming something there, film crew everywhere. Got some nice photos here.

We followed the circuit back along St Catherine and saw the Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan building.  It is devoted to the dissemination and promotion of jazz music and musical practice. It houses the multipurpose Astral hall, La Balmoral bistro terrace, the TD Gallery Lounge dedicated to the dissemination of visual arts, a gift and souvenir shop, and an audiovisual documentation centre.

We walked through Quartier des spectacles and Place des Arts. We saw Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal.  Place des Arts is the most important cultural complex in Canada.  It’s indoor public spaces hold shows, concerts, exhibitions, and conferences.  Outside we admired Pierre Granche’s 1992 sculpture entitled Comme si le temps…de la rue. The exterior plaza of the complex is the meeting place for major festivals. In autumn 2011, a new concert hall for the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal was inaugurated.

We then went into the underground city and saw some of the artworks in Place Des Arts, we walked under Saint Catherine Street to complex Desjardins and then through to Rene Levesque.  Built in 1976, the complexe Desjardins is home to 3 office towers, 110 boutiques and restaurants, a hotel, and an immense public square where a myriad of events are held all year long. The Complexe is located in the heart of downtown, the city's cultural core and the underground pedestrian network.

The homeless/beggars were out in force, and we saw a crazy person wandering around shouting random things out, we made sure we were heading in a different direction. We were also surprised how easily the beggers could switch from French to English.

We saw Monument-National wich shows various concerts and theatrical performances, including productions from the National Theatre School of Canada.  Built in 1893, its architecture integrates elements of revived Baroque and Mannerist styles.  Its magnificent façade is illuminated at night through a high tech system.  Just across the road we saw a pretty cool graffiti of raccoons on the side of a building! We also found a red light district of Montreal just off the dodgier end of Saint Catherine Street.

We continued up St Laurent to Maisonneuve to head home. Saw a dog and mask artwork and some cute houses on Rue Jeanne Mance. Cooked chicken Maryland's and veggies for dinner, yum. After dinner we ended up down at Tim Hortons for hot chocolate and a chocolate muffin, mmm.
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