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  2. What's Alabama-made, flat on one side and adorned by a woodpecker? Montreal's newest fountain Checking in on the story of Montreal's newest and most unusual fountain on the eve of its grand unveiling in downtown Dorchester Square. ANDY RIGA Updated: May 24, 2019 A full fountain didn't fit in the newly renovated Dorchester Square so a flat-sided one was used, adding a whimsical touch, says Claude Cormier, whose company oversaw the design of restored square. ALLEN MCINNIS / MONTREAL GAZETTE SHAREADJUSTCOMMENTPRINT Montreal’s newest ornamental fountain, in downtown Dorchester Square, is a head-turner. Ten metres tall, its three cast-aluminum basins are semi-circles, with one side completely flat. From the square, it’s a graceful Victorian-inspired fountain. Seen from the side, it appears to have been sliced in half. Adding to the quirkiness: affixed to the flat side, two-thirds of the way up, is a 19-inch aluminum statue of a pileated woodpecker, its flaming red crest contrasting with the green fountain. Nearby, two new footbridges contribute to the whimsical nature of the almost-complete $8.9-million renovation and expansion of the northern part of Dorchester Square, across from the city’s main tourism office and a few steps from Ste-Catherine St. Claude Cormier, the landscape architect whose company managed the renovation of Dorchester Square, sits on one of the new arched footbridges. PIERRE OBENDRAUF / MONTREAL GAZETTE The arched, metal-and-wood bridges, which rise above ramps in and out of an underground parking garage, are not particularly utilitarian, as pedestrians can simply walk around the ramps. The square’s redesign was overseen by Claude Cormier + Associés, an urban design company that worked on such high-profile public-space projects as the Clock Tower Beach in the Old Port, the revamp of Place d’Youville in Old Montreal, and the Gay Village’s iconic plastic-ball canopy on Ste-Catherine St. E. This week, the Montreal Gazette spoke to company founder Claude Cormier, a landscape architect, when he visited as workers put the final touches on the fountain, which will be turned on within the next few days. Why half a fountain? “The original plan included a full fountain; it was sliced because the road had to be a certain width for the tourist buses and we needed wide sidewalks,” Cormier said. “And we couldn’t move it because the fountain needs the support of a column in the garage below.” But he wanted to keep the fountain and soon realized the lack of space was an opportunity, not an obstacle, he said. “The fountain is a reference to the Victorian era of Montreal; the square was built in the late 19th century. But we didn’t want to construct a piece that would be from the 19th century. “The notion of slicing informs you that this piece is not an authentic 19th-century piece but more of a 21st-century piece. It’s a whimsical aspect that makes it of the now.” It can also be seen as playfully referring to the fact that the square was once bigger. Part of it was paved over for parking for the adjacent Dominion Square Building, which opened in 1930. “So this notion of cutting is (also) in reference to the history of the place — the cutting off of the park, an action that transformed the park,” Cormier said. Under the renovation, the square has been extended by about 24 metres toward the Dominion Square Building, replacing car space with pedestrian areas. One driving lane and one for parking remain. Workers put finishing touches on the new fountain in Dorchester Square. ALLEN MCINNIS / MONTREAL GAZETTE Have you ever seen a fountain like this? “No,” Cormier said, smiling broadly. And Robinson Iron, the Alabama company hired to make the fountain, had never made one quite like it, he added. “But Montreal is unique. And this square is where we have the Centre Infotouriste. The tourists are coming here and they get off buses.” The fountain will prove popular with photo-snapping visitors to the city, Cormier said: “It has a lighthearted aspect that I think you will remember. It will be talked about and that’s a good thing in tourism.” He thinks Montrealers will also take to it. “How do you create uniqueness nowadays that has resonance, that doesn’t seem fake? In Montreal, I think we have a good sense of humour. We have developed the entertainment and comedy industries. So the fountain fits in quite well.” An artist’s rendition of the newly renovated northern section of Dorchester Square. What did the city initially think of the sliced fountain? “Oh, they didn’t like it and neither did the Quebec culture department,” Cormier said with a laugh. “Every time you present something that people have never seen, the reaction we always get is: ‘Oh my God, no.’ “When we did (the plastic-ball canopy) in the Village nine years ago, we had the same reaction. The city said: ‘No way — we’re not doing this. It’s not practical, it’s not safe.’ Now, the city will do anything to keep it. “In my career, over 30 years, all my best projects have been rejected at the beginning. When this one was rejected, I said: ‘This is it.’ ” The city eventually came around. A bricklayer installs a sidewalk in Dorchester Square. ALLEN MCINNIS /MONTREAL GAZETTE Why a woodpecker? “It’s just for fun,” Cormier said. “It’s a little touch that adds another layer to it, about the birds in the park. Woodpeckers attack trees and can transform a tree, sculpt a tree. “It’s on the fountain where it’s sliced. It’s kind of tongue and cheek — maybe the bird could somehow correct that slicing and bring it back to a sculpted form that would make the basins round.” Striking in appearance and extremely large, the pileated woodpecker is native to Quebec. An aluminum, 19-inch-tall pileated woodpecker is affixed to the flat side of the new fountain in Dorchester Square. ALLEN MCINNIS / MONTREAL GAZETTE What else should people know about the fountain? It’s inspired by one that graced Viger Square in the 19th century, though it’s less ornate — instead of ornamented columns, the basins on the Dorchester Square fountain are held up by plain pillars modelled after simple plants. The fountain has an elaborate lighting system and it can be programmed to spray water from its nozzles in a variety of different combinations. Wind-detecting sensors will trigger an off switch to avoid splashing passers-by. It’s 10 metres high, the biggest basin has a diameter of 5.5 metres and the tiled pool at the bottom is 13 metres in diameter. The pool’s stone perimeter will provide a nice place to sit and cool off in the summer, Cormier said. The new Dorchester Square fountain is inspired by one that once stood in Viger Square, seen in this photo circa 1875. WILLIAM NOTMAN / MCCORD MUSEUM Why did you add the bridges? They make reference to the diagonal layout of paths found on a 1907 image of the square, Cormier said. The paths led towards the northern corners of the square and in the direction of Ste-Catherine St., about 75 metres away. “We had to keep the underground-garage ramps but they cut off the original path,” Cormier explained. “So by adding bridges above the ramps, it gives you a connection to Ste-Catherine that was lost when the ramps were built and the square was truncated by the road.” From the top of the bridges, which rise four metres above the parking ramp, pedestrians get a broad view of the square toward the south and a glimpse of Ste-Catherine to the north. The stairs “also create a place for people to sit,” Cormier said. “They are a gathering place. Steps in public squares are always, always well used.” Small grassy hills were also added. They block the view of the fence that surrounds the parking ramps and “also gave us lots of soil to plant new trees, which will grow tall and provide shade,” Cormier said. “The hills will be an amazing place to sit, to watch people go by.” A partially completed footbridge crosses a ramp from the underground parking garage in Dorchester Square. ALLEN MCINNIS / MONTREAL GAZETTE Montreal, city of fountains Montreal was once known for its fountains. “Look at postcards from Montreal from the 19th and early 20th century: many of them showed squares and there were the fountains because they were a very nice thing to look at,” said Dinu Bumbaru of Heritage Montreal. A few of the old fountains remain, including one in St-Louis Square in Plateau Mont-Royal, and two in St-Henri — in Sir-George-Étienne-Cartier Square and St-Henri Park. Some local parks also featured fountains but many of those water features were replaced by playgrounds, Bumbaru said. “We have moved from a rather formal society to a looser one where you want kids to enjoy themselves, not just to sit and contemplate.” But fountains still have a place in the urban landscape, he said. “They provide animation, something to walk around — sound effects, too. They are a bit of a showpiece.” The fountain in St-Louis Square was restored in 2007. RICHARD ARLESS /THE GAZETTE RELATED Dorchester Square to get a Victorian fountain in renovation project Digging into an urban myth: The crosses of the new Dorchester Square Montreal’s renovated Place du Canada poised to reopen [email protected]
  3. OMG. C'est ce qu'il reste de l'ancien golf de Brossard!
  4. Exactement. PVM 1 a 45 étages et 188 mètres. Cette nouvelle tour aura 61 étages (hauteur résidentiel) et une hauteur d'environs 200 mètres.
  5. Je souhaite ardemment que CDPQi se prononce en faveur d’une branche de métro sur des Laurentides dans les plus brefs délais (et rejette le prolongement Chambly). Ça augmenterai définitivement les chances de voir au CV de Laval un projet comme The Wells ou M City 🤩 Espace Montmorency c’est juste le début.
  6. Quelques images d'ÉCO Quartier de la Gare, Brossard. Prise 25 mai.
  7. Quelques images. 25 mai, 2019.
  8. Il y a quelques rendus ici :
  9. Dairy Milk de Cadbury existe encore aujourd'hui!
  10. Sur le site actuel des travaux hôtel Art-de-Vivre. Les édifices du 2000-2026 rue de Bleury le 11 avril 1962. Juste au nord d'Ontario à l'époque. Cette section de la rue Ontario porte aujourd'hui le nom de boulevard de Maisonneuve. Ce sont les édifices destinés à la démolition pour le passage du métro et le réaménagement des rues. Archives de la ville de Montréal VM105-Y-3_647-002. Juste à droite des maisons se trouvait au 2040 Bleury l'Institut Baron de Hirsch, suivi de l'édifice Caron au 2050 Bleury.
  11. Yesterday
  12. The electrical doors on St-Laurent and the opacity of this stretch toward the boulevard is such a shame. Ils l'ont traité comme une vulgaire arrière cours.
  13. May 25th. They were working on it today
  14. Et tout ça pour un gâchis architectural.
  15. Un bon exemple: la station Angrignon. Ils ont refait la toiture à neuf en 2014, et malgré ça elle fuit toujours quand il pleut. De mémoire, ça n'a même pas pris 2 ans avant que les seaux soient de retour.
  16. Selon le schéma d'aménagement, voilà les limites du centre-ville (en rouge) et celles de la zone sans limite de hauteur (en rouge foncé) :
  17. Le métro se trouve dans un état pitoyable dû à un manque de leadership en haut de l'organigramme de la STM, du travail bâclé des entrepreneurs qu'ils engagent car il n'y a aucun suivi des travaux, aucun contrat qualité, on nivelle vers le bas et c'est bar open pour les entrepreneurs. Toutes les rénovations récentes effectuées dans les stations sont à refaire 3-4 ans plus tard, c'est pitoyable. Pendant ce temps, les Azurs dont déjà super sales, la poussière roule partout, les trains sont pleins de suie et ca fait à peine 2 ans qu'ils roulent. Y'a quelqu'un au volant???
  18. Avec le temps, les promoteurs vont changer d’idée, ce coin est une mine d’or en devenir.
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