Montreal – Parc La Fontaine

Parc La Fontaine receives continuous praise from Montrealers, so I was curious to explore this serene common living space located in a relatively well-known borough, Plateau Mont-Royal.

A diverse clientele gathers here to appreciate a place of greenery embellished with bodies of water. Mature trees and a fountain gives some bit of urban freshness.

There are runners, walkers and young apprentices on two wheels. Some come here to bask under a tree or picnic with family, meet friends or go for a romantic stroll.

Before 1845, the grounds were those of the Logan farm. From 1845 to 1885, this site was the place of demonstration and military training. In 1874, part of the land was ceded to the City of Montreal to create Logan Park. It was only in 1901 that it was given its current name in memory of the first French-speaking Prime Minister of United Canada, Mr. Louis-Hyppolyte La Fontaine.

From 1890 to 1952, greenhouses were installed to produce the city’s flowers and a house was built for the caretaker. Over the years, ponds, fountains, bridges and even a zoo have been built. For a few years (1957-1989), the Jardin des Merveilles welcomed farm and exotic animals as well as sea lions for the pleasure of many.

In the park, there are playgrounds and sculptures, including, among others, that of Félix Leclerc with inscriptions linked to his poems, a Monument to Dollard des Ormeaux, another to Sir Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine, an Obelisk in Tribute to Charles de Gaulle and more.

In winter, an ice rink is set up and the slope of the site allows sliding.

The park is bordered by Sherbrooke Street, Parc-La Fontaine Avenue, Rachel Street and Papineau Avenue.

Théâtre de la Vendure

This park is close to trendy cafés and is the location of the Théatre de la Verdure, an outdoor amphitheater where multidisciplinary artists are put in the spotlight. Whether it’s dancing, singing, comedy, circus, or more, this 2,500-seat venue has been around since the mid-20th century but has been revamped.

Espace Bistro

A bistro is located at the heart of the site and offers a light menu perfect for a well-deserved break. The Espace La Fontaine offers, in addition to a snack, the possibility of renting the premises for a private event or is sometimes open to exposition.

Calixa-Lavallee Center

An imposing construction is also on the park site: the Calixa-Lavallée Pavilion. This building bears the name of the composer of the Canadian national anthem and is now a cultural center managed by Art Neuf, which is associated with the city to host organized activities and offer the rental of space.  It has a small auditorium for 120 people, the Salle Paul-Buissonneau, and an art gallery. In short, a place of cultural and artistic activities within the walls of a historic building.

See also Edifice Gaston-Miron next to the park.

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