Introducing Downtown Montréal’s new artful alleyways

Murelle / fresque NEHIROWISIW – ÉQUILIBRE 
Par Kaia’tanoron Dumoulin-Bush et Meky Ottawa, sous la tutelle des muralistes de MU Melissa Del Pinto et Diane Roe
Isa Tousignant

Isa Tousignant

This article was updated on August 10, 2023.

The latest additions to the alley-beautifying Murelles project are turning more downtown Montréal alleyways into living, breathing museums — not to mention lovely spots for a pit-stop. Now with three new locations enhanced by local talents, the beauty is spreading further and further — and it’s only the beginning.

Murale NEHIROWISIW – ÉQUILIBRE par Meky Ottawa et Manon Bédard

 

Combining the words “mural” and “ruelles” (French for “alleyways”), Murelles was created by Tourisme Montréal, mural-makers MU and Montréal centre-ville to breathe new life into wasted spaces in the downtown core.

The project activates downtown alleys off Palace, Chomedey, Sainte-Catherine, Peel and Stanley Streets, and turns them into lively communal spaces filled with art — from the concrete beneath our feet up onto surrounding walls. These 5 spaces are the first of 15 or so that will blossom over the next 3 years.

“This beautification project reinforces Montréal’s reputation as a clean and safe destination,” says Tourisme Montréal President and CEO Yves Lalumière. “These art works are concrete examples of our commitment to the sustainable betterment of the city.”

Murelles will surprise and delight both visitors and locals, providing hidden gems to discover by chance throughout the downtown core. As passersby wander down some of the city’s busiest thoroughfares, they can turn a corner and be welcomed with brand new artwork — plus gathering spaces full of plants and decorated in the spirit of the surrounding art. These spaces are ideal to sit, chat, eat lunch and recharge.

 

Murelle / fresque par Lucas Saenger / LSNR ONE
Ruelle Palace, 1260, boulevard Robert-Bourassa

Pit-stop behind Palace

Artist Lucas Saenger, aka LSNR ONE, has added his indelible touch to this lane behind 1260 Robert-Bourrassa Boulevard. His abstract shapes hint at a cabin getaway, located somewhere between sky and earth, in a landscape that’s been parcelled out into different sections — each presenting their own perspective. This graphic work has been enhanced with greenery to let the beauty of nature shine.
 

Murale NEHIROWISIW – ÉQUILIBRE par Meky Ottawa et Manon Bédard

Checkpoint behind Chomedey

Titled NEHIROWISIW — ÉQUILIBRE, this large-scale communal work conceived by artists Meky Ottawa and Manon Bédard covers the whole back wall of Chez Doris, a longstanding women’s shelter located at 1430 Chomedey Street. It was painted by Kaia’tanoron Dumoulin-Bush and Meky Ottawa, under the tutelage of MU muralists Melissa Del Pinto and Diane Roe. It makes homage to the natural grandeur of Canada’s natural landscape as well as the sweetness of its water and the precariousness of its natural resources.

 

Murelle / fresque par Peru Dyer, muraliste
488, rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest

Stopover behind Ste-Catherine

Just steps away from McGill metro, in the laneway behind 488 Sainte-Catherine Street West, a fresco by muralist Peru Dyer celebrates universal love in a bright explosion of colours. The vibrant work aims to inspire compassion, empathy and understanding between members of the myriad different communities that travel here. Wooden structures filled the plant life add to the convivial space.

 

Murale Façades : Fenêtres sur ma ville par Rafael Sottolichio et produite par MU sur la rue Peel

Rendez-vous behind Peel

The back lane just off Peel at Sainte-Catherine hosts a mural by Rafael Sottolichio that makes reference to Montréal through time with its fresh blue tones. The colourful urban furniture was created to incorporate botanical installations and give this busy downtown spot a breath of fresh air — literally.

 

Lancement des Murelles - Rue Stanley

See you behind Stanley

Not far, off Stanley near Sainte-Catherine, the floor mural by Diane Roe will brighten anyone’s day with its pop colours and abstracted shapes influenced by nature. With standing works that will give the impression of being surrounded by art, plus flower arrangements incorporated into the very furniture, it’s a happy space to spend time indeed.

Isa Tousignant

Isa Tousignant

Isa Tousignant is a Montréal-based editor and storyteller with a curiosity that runs deeper than most. She has chatted life philosophies with celebrity chefs, gemologists, arena rockers and furries. (All were transformative.) Her free time is spent designing jewellery and laughing at her husband’s jokes.

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