In the heart of Montreal, a green pocket resists the urban invasion. We may think we're familiar with La Fontaine Park, but it has played host to a spate of cultural and leisure activities that have disappeared, such as greenhouses of Victorian design, gondolas inspired by Venice, a travelling theatre for children and a little zoo. A different activity for each era!
Sequence 1 Oxgen for all
In the immense 95-acre green space of Logan Park, renamed La Fontaine Park, Montrealers and tourists could enjoy the benefits of the countryside without leaving the city.
The city created the park back in 1874.
Sequence 2 A Piece of Greenery in the making
They were the talk of the town. The imposing Victorian greenhouses transported to Logan Park in 1899 would be demolished in 1953. Refreshingly, the park's development reflected the suggestions of citizens and city councillors alike.
Sequence 3 To the Park!
Sports and leisure activities have always been practiced in La Fontaine Park. The officials responsible for Montreal's parks and playgrounds had an imposing granite chalet constructed in the park in 1932.
Sequence 4 Water Park
Canoes, gondolas, skates - depending on the era, Montrealers and tourists used the water bodies in La Fontaine Park in various ways.
Sequence 5 A Bright Idea!
In 1929, city councillor Léon Trépanier proposed that a fountain be added to the north pond in La Fontaine Park. No sooner said than done. In 1901, he had launched the idea of an annual parade to mark Quebec Day. The first parade that took place on June 24 went through Logan Park, renamed La Fontaine Park the same year.
Sequence 6 The Caravan
Excerpt from a video by Paul Buissonneau, actor, director and creator of the famous caravan installed first in La Fontaine Park. Many Montreal actors got their start with the travelling theatre for children that went from park to park in the City of Montreal.
Sequence 7 The Performing Arts at the Park
In January1935, at École Le Plateau, one of the few schools to be built in a park, 1,300 music lovers attended the first concert of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. The Théâtre de verdure open-air venue has maintained La Fontaine Park's musical tradition since 1953.
Sequence 8 Wild Kingdom...
La Fontaine Park acquired a wild kingdom when a miniature zoo opened in 1957. Parents and children strolled through a decor inspired by unforgettable children's stories until the zoo was closed in 1989.