Press release | For immediate distribution

Montreal, October 6, 2015 – Today the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership reported on its assessment of the Jardins Gamelin, the temporary space that occupied Place Émilie-Gamelin from May 7 to October 4. The project, whose goal was to make this public space more attractive, accessible, and lively throughout the summer, was a success.

Several factors contributed to the positive outcome of the Jardins Gamelin: a convivial and multipurpose design by Pépinière & co, the varied and continuous programming on the site, and, above all, an unprecedented level of collaboration at the planning stages and throughout the season. The Ville de Montréal, the Ville-Marie Borough, the Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal, community groups, UQAM, BUSAC Immobilier, the proprietor of Place Dupuis, and other partners showed a remarkable level of commitment and cooperation. Thanks to the work of partners such as Présence Compassion and Sentier Urbain, to name just a few, the homeless, who might have felt excluded from the project, reacted positively to the project.

“We had hosted activities at Place Émilie-Gamelin for five years before the large-scale initiative of Jardins Gamelin began this year,” notes Jacques Primeau, the chair of the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership board. “We are particularly attached to this underappreciated space, and it was crucial for us to set it up as a real hub for the Quartier des Spectacles. Thanks to collaboration with several major partners, we gathered all our combined expertise and experience to enliven Place Émilie-Gamelin and bring people together there. We are very proud of the success of the Jardins Gamelin, a large-scale redevelopment project that is also a great example of successful social cohesion”.

“The re-appropriation of public spaces by Montreal citizens and a greater feeling of public safety in the space were priorities for us. I am very happy with the results of the first season of the Jardins Gamelin and I applaud the quality of the work of all the partners who contributed to this significant collective project,” added Mr. Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montréal.

The Jardins Gamelin project resulted in the creation of a large urban space that was welcoming and green – the ideal spot for hosting a variety of events of different scales. Janet Echelman’s illuminated sculptural work, 1.26, lent a touch of poetry to the site. A sociable space in the heart of the downtown core, the Jardins Gamelin quickly became a popular spot for meetups, outdoor lunch hours, extended cocktail hours and afternoons with the family. For five months, the Quartier des Spectacles Partenership and Pépinière & co offered Montrealers over 230 activities to please every taste and style, including small and medium-scale events as well as festivals such as Montréal Complètement Cirque.

Hosting jam-packed cultural and citizen-led programming seven days a week, the Jardins Gamelin enchanted Montrealers and visitors alike. Attendance was strong throughout the season. Over 15 000 electronic music lovers attended the three Piknic Electronik events. Hundreds of people enjoyed the salsa rhythms at each of the weekly dances.

Urban agriculture was an important part of the Jardins Gamelin. With the goal of democratizing and promoting urban agriculture at its heart, Sentier Urbain was responsible for the floral and vegetable plots in the Jardins Gamelin. Their presence beautified the square and offered visitors the chance to explore vegetable gardening and urban agriculture techniques.

The challenge of re-appropriating and cohabitating in this space was met with success, thanks to the collaboration of multiple partners in the project, led by the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership. The Partnership is confident that the positive results of the first year of the Jardins Gamelin will lead to a continuation of the design and programming activities at Place Émilie-Gamelin.


  • Free daily urban cultural programming for 5 months, interspersed with recurring events
  • Over 230 activities offered, 14 hosted events, 6 co-productions.
  • A welcoming environment, with greenery that made it stand out; inviting furniture and a stunning illuminated sign, thanks to the design work of Montreal organization Pépinière & co.
  • Spaces dedicated to raising awareness about urban agriculture and a local produce market presented in collaboration with UQAM.
  • The monumental work 1.26 by American artist Janet Echelman, suspended permanently over the Jardins Gamelin.
  • The video projection 9x[MTL], created by Gabriel Poirier-Galarneau and Vincent Bilodeau, projected continuously on Place Dupuis.
  • Melvin Charney’s sculptural work, illuminated in the Jardins.
  • Le Comptoir des Jardins Gamelin café and its welcoming terrace, open from 7:30 am to 11 pm, ensured that the area was continuously attended, contributing to the sense of safety in the space.


The Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, founded in 2003, is a non-profit organization with some 60 members active in the district. Its Board of Directors includes representatives of cultural organizations and institutions, educational institutions, business, municipal government and community organizations. This structure allows the district’s main stakeholders to consult each other and act jointly. The Partnership’s full-time staff of approximately 20 programs cultural activities for the Quartier des Spectacles. The team is also responsible for the Quartier’s public spaces, specialized facilities, illumination and promotion. The Partnership is supported by the Ville de Montréal and the Secrétariat à la région métropolitaine. To find out more, visit

Programmation Jardins Gamelin

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