PEDESTRIAN HEAVEN IN MONTREAL: AIRES LIBRES

Posted on May 13th, 2010 by .

The main street of Montréal’s Gay Village will be closed to traffic again this summer, creating another pedestrian heaven. Gays everywhere are rejoicing!

Started as an experiment in the summer of 2008, Aires Libres has become a regular summertime “permanent festival” of sorts.  Sainte-Catherine Street, the main artery in the village, gets rid of all those pesky motorized vehicles and becomes a haven for strolling, shopping and watching the world go by. It’s an eco-artistic adventure that is a MUST DO on any Montréal itinerary.

We can expect to see some great stuff with Aires Libres this year:

[patio action] with pedestrians in the middle of the street, the sidewalks are transformed into spacious terraces that provide the ultimate platforms for people watching. Sunglasses will help keep your wandering eyes inconspicuous. But, heck, who says you want to be inconspicuous?

[art installations] Last year there were flowers painted on the pavement, larger than life ‘art’ clothespins and Tibetan-flag-inspired clotheslines flapping overhead. Stay tuned for this year’s theme!

[beach volleyball court] Hello shirtless hotties! During the whole summer, a beach volleyball court is located on the corner of Champlain and Sainte-Catherine Street for the use of all. Bring your own balls.

[street performers] Throughout the summer you’ll see buskers, painters, chorales and caricaturists. Stop and enjoy. Sing along.  Do a dance. Leave a toonie.

[festivals] Aires Libres will be the site of Festival International Montréal en Arts (FIMA) from July 5 – 7, Divers/Cité from July 26 – August 1 and Célébrations (Montréal Pride) from August 12 – 15.

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DETAILS

Aires Libres
Montréal’s Summertime Pedestrian Heaven
Saint Catherine Street East (Between Berri and Papineau)
May 26 – September 13, 2010
www.aireslibres.com

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