© Eva Blue
Montréal en Histoires / Cité Mémoire
The Montréal en Histoires phone app gives the full historical breakdown of Old Montréal, presenting suggested routes, keeping track of where you are and showing things as they once were. But after dark it’s an entirely different experience as the projections of Cité Mémoire bring the past back to life via one of the biggest urban lighting installations in the world. Created by Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon in collaboration with Michel Marc Bouchard (you can read about them all here), Cité Mémoire is a crown jewel of the city that’s de rigueur for any visit. Let the app guide you between installations throughout Old Montréal and the Old Port (plus one at the legendary Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth hotel), and keep your camera at the ready – these things photograph beautifully. (Insider tip: Keep a sharp eye out for the alleyway that becomes a stream flowing down towards the St. Lawrence and take a virtual wade in the water made of light).
© Moment Factory
A mind-blowing creation of the masterminds at Montréal’s internationally renowned multimedia entertainment studio Moment Factory, AURA literally reconstructs the Notre-Dame Basilica’s interior with lights and sound. It’s an experience you won’t forget – but be sure to arrive a little bit early to explore the other impeccable installations in place that almost give the impression that this grand old church is a living and breathing being.
© Eva Blue
Another Moment Factory project, the photogenic Jacques-Cartier Bridge lights up nightly over the expanse of the St. Lawrence River. But it’s much more than just flipping on a switch – the way the bridge lights up is determined both by season and by the city’s mood, collected throughout the day from social media. Each ½ hour, a special animation sequence also takes place, and mentions of #illuminationMTL in your online posts will also have an effect you can see before your eyes.
The UQAM Bell Tower
Marking 50 years of UQAM University, the institution’s historic Saint-Jacques church bell tower shines nightly – putting the perfect punctuation mark on a cozy evening stroll. Adding an awe-inspiring glow to the Quartier latin, the UQAM Bell Tower is ready for its close-up!
© Frédérique Ménard-Aubin, Montréal En Lumière
Quartier Latin and Quartier des spectacles
Throughout the year, both the Quartier Latin and the Quartier des spectacles entertainment districts play host to cutting-edge illuminations that punctuate the night sky. While some are permanent – such as the large-scale projections on the face of the Université du Québec à Montréal campus, others, like the seasonal Luminothérapie and Montréal en Lumière, transform these districts into playgrounds of light throughout the winter with annually changing installations both interactive and awe-inspiring. It’s the perfect opportunity to bundle up and get exploring on a chilly night.
© MU, Ville-Marie, ElMac Gene Pendon (2017) - Photo: Eva Blue
Leonard Cohen mural on Crescent Street
Poet and musician Leonard Cohen is a patron saint of local culture and history, commemorated by two large murals painted after his death in 2016. Perfectly visible from the Mount Royal viewpoint, the 1,022 square metre Tower of Songs mural on Crescent Street is now also bathed in light every night of the year – including a touching shade of red over his heart from which he wrote and sang for decades as a proud Montréaler. It’s a moving tribute that glows.
© Eva Blue - Tourisme Montréal
Wander into Montréal’s Gay Village, for a walk under the Proud Colours lights gracing Sainte–Catherine Street tell that the proud history of the sexual and gender diversity flags raised in pride by the LGBTQQIP2SAA community. Reflecting all the colours of the rainbow and more, #ProudColoursMtl is a shining, moving gesture of pride.
As part of Place Ville Marie’s multi-million dollar renovations, Montréal’s newest icon The Ring is all lit up nightly. Already a favourite of #selfies fans, if you angle your camera just right you can also capture a glimpse of the Cross up on top of Mount Royal itself. And that’s what we call a full circle #mtlmoment!