Potted trees at the Quartier des Spectacles

93 potted trees to beautify the Quartier des Spectacles.

Since the summer of 2020, the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership has been placing several dozen trees in planters at various locations in the district. Under the careful stewardship of the greening team, the collection of mobile trees has grown from 60 in 2020 to over 90 in 2023. The different species of trees beautify the urban space, positively contributing to visitors’ experiences of the Quartier des Spectacles, while also reducing the city’s heat islands and improving its air quality.

The greening of downtown Montreal was launched in collaboration with the Centre d'écologie urbaine de Montréal (CEUM) and the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), with funding from the Fonds d'initiative et de rayonnement de la métropole (FIRM) and Tourisme Montréal. The aim of this process is to not only increase the amount of greenery in the district but to also develop expertise in urban greening.

Discover the various species of potted trees and learn more about them:


There are currently two research projects underway that investigate ways for the Quartier des Spectacles to become a more welcoming and pleasant space for all its users, while also contributing to the fight against global warming. Learn more about these projects led by two UQAM professors in collaboration with the Pôle sur la ville résiliente.

A study of ecosystem services provided by trees throughout the district

Urban trees endure harsh conditions, making them vulnerable to weather events and climate changes, such as droughts and high temperatures. Very little is known about tree growth in urban environments, let alone the growth of potted trees! This is what prompted Alain Paquette, professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at UQAM, and his team.

This project involved attaching sap-flow sensors to 21 different species of potted trees in order to measure the circulation of the water molecules inside their trunks. The readings provide information on the trees’ general condition and also on the benefits that they provide to the urban environment: their transpiration cools the air, and their leaves absorb pollutant gases. The information collected in this study will provide a better understanding of how trees cope in high-stress conditions.

Click here to learn more about the Chair on the Urban Forest.

A study of the beneficial effects of exposure to greenery in the Quartier for population mental and physical well-being

In recent years, many studies have explored the positive effects of trees in urban areas on human health. However, their specific impact on the people that live in and frequent large public squares has never been explored.

This study takes both a qualitative and quantitative approach and specifically involves people experiencing poverty. Janie Houle, professor in the Department of Psychology at UQAM, is conducting interviews with her team and observing user behaviour throughout the Quartier des Spectacles. The results of this research will contribute to measuring the impact of the greening of the Quartier des Spectacles on the well-being of the people who use the space.

Click here to learn more about the Research Chair on the Reduction of Social Inequalities in Health.


Aligned with the 2022-26 strategic plan for the Quartier des Spectacles, a triennial greening plan will be implemented through initiatives that will green amenities, support university research and present relevant cultural programming. These actions have multiple goals: reducing heat islands, increasing available shade, improving air quality and developing expertise in urban greening, all accompanied by activities designed to raise public awareness.

Click here to learn more about the greening plan for the Quartier des Spectacles.