Montréal’s astoundingly varied theatre, music, dance and art – and its formidable festival season – now have a central hub: the Quartier des Spectacles, a square kilometre spreading out from the central intersection of Ste-Catherine and St-Laurent. Initially proposed in the early 2000s, construction on the Quartier began in earnest in 2008, and has continued since: in autumn 2017, the National Film Board of Canada is due to move in, in a new building next to the main square. Overall, the Quartier’s 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. Dubbed the “Broadway of Montréal”, it has over eighty cultural venues and hosts more than forty festivals, including the renowned Jazz Festival, Just for Laughs and Francofolie, and is served by three Métro stations: St-Laurent, Place-des-Arts and Place-d’Armes. Its signature symbol 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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