Place des Festivals, Balmoral, Mayor and Jeanne-Mance Streets

Place des Festivals
© Stéphan Poulin

Phase 1

The first step in the redevelopment of the Place des Arts section of Quartier des Spectacles was Place des Festivals, 6,141 square metres of public space. This is on the so-called Balmoral Lot, framed by the streets Jeanne-Mance to the east, Balmoral to the west, Sainte-Catherine on the south and De Maisonneuve the north.

The creation of Place des Festivals involved the redesign of rue Jeanne-Mance between boulevard De Maisonneuve and rue Sainte-Catherine, notably in the reduction of its width and the development of a new type of commercial space called a living showcase.

The first lighting superstructures were installed on rue Jeanne-Mance’s widened sidewalk, to provide functional and scenic illumination.

Place des Festivals and the reconfigured streets Balmoral, Mayor and Jeanne-Mance (north of Sainte-Catherine) were inaugurated in 2009.

Planning Concept

  • Levelling of the Balmoral Lot on a gentle slope down to rue Jeanne-Mance (requiring the excavation de 50,000 tonnes of earth) and the removal of a large parking surface.
  • Creation of a 6,141 m2 public square which includes the largest array of interactive fountains in Canada.
  • Construction of an underground technical room.
  • Greening and planting of mature trees on half of the total space.
  • Reconfiguration of rue Balmoral between boulevard De Maisonneuve and rue Sainte- Catherine.
  • Extension of rue Mayor from rue De Bleury to rue Balmoral.
  • Construction of a wide staircase on the extended rue Mayor.
  • Narrowing rue Jeanne-Mance from five to three traffic lanes, no street parking, widening of sidewalks, renovation of underground infrastructure and road repairs.
  • Construction of two living showcases.
  • Installation of four lighting superstructures and new lights.

Principal Effects

  • The creation of a unique public space that meets the needs of major festival events, while remaining warm and inviting for residents and workers year-round, and affirms the identity of Quartier des Spectacles.
  • The development of a novel commercial environment for the sector.
  • New, high-quality prospects for real estate development in an outstanding location.


Architecture and urban design: Daoust Lestage Inc.
Engineering: Groupe SM inc.

Technical Description

Place des Festivals

  • Total Area (excluding sidewalks) 6,141 m2, including:
    • 3,108 m2 paved with Cambrian Black granite
    • 1,185 m2 paved with Bethel White granite
    • 1,831 m2 plant cover
  • Differences in ground level between rue Balmoral and rue Jeanne-Mance range from 0.65 m (near boulevard De Maisonneuve) to 2.8 m (near rue Sainte-Catherine)
  • Staircase onto rue Mayor and onto rue Sainte-Catherine in Bethel White granite
  • Technical room beneath the staircase onto rue Mayor containing part of the mechanical equipment of the fountain, pumping basin, filtration and water treatment systems, and electrical equipment

Interactive Fountain

  • 4 km of pipes running through Place des Festivals, circulating 18,184 litres of water per minute
  • Synchronization of water, light and music effects, as needed
  • 235 individually-controlled jets:
    • 226 animated jets in 18 rows, able to reach a height of 3 metres
    • 150 with red backlighting
    • 76 with white backlighting
    • 9 high-volume jets in the central circular basin, able to reach a height of 10 metres, with white backlighting
  • 18 drains for water recovery and recirculation in the fountain
  • 15 pumps (1 for filtration, 1 for recirculation, and 13 for fountain operation) with total horsepower of 220
  • Pumping basin capacity of 80,000 litres
  • Water quality ensured by UV treatment, an electrolytic generator for disinfection, two filters and two metering pumps

Urban Forest

  • 105 planted trees:
    • 50 gleditsia “Skyline” honey locusts on rue Jeanne-Mance
    • 32 gleditsia “Shademaster” honey locusts in Place des Festivals
    • 23 acer x freemanii “Autumn Blaze” maples on rue Balmoral