Montréal’s astoundingly varied theatre, music, dance and art – and its formidable festival season – now have a central hub: the Quartier des Spectacles. This entertainment district, which measures roughly one square kilometre, spreads out from the central intersection of Ste-Catherine and St-Laurent. The Quartier continues to be one of the city’s most ambitious ongoing projects – it was initially proposed in the early 2000s; construction began in earnest in 2008, and will continue through 2015 and potentially beyond. The approach has been two-pronged: to revitalize and renovate already existing venues; and to add new ones, from art galleries to theatres to, most impressively, numerous public spaces, squares, gardens and walkways. The Quartier – which has been called the “Broadway of Montréal” – has over eighty cultural venues and hosts more than forty festivals, including the renowned Jazz Festival, Just for Laughs and Francofolie. The signature symbol of the Quartier is a playful red dot, which you’ll see throughout – and on the website – a reference to the neighbourhood’s former red-light district. For information, see quartierdesspectacles.com.
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