Public space transformed: Carré St-Louis

Saint Louis Square, Spring 2010

It’s amazing how things change. Forty years ago, this was where you came to purchase drugs and prostitutes. Fortunately, the gentrification of the surrounding neighbourhood, and in particular the stately value of the homes on Laval Avenue, has effected a major transformation on this beautiful urban retreat. Having spent a considerable part of last summer hanging out here after work, drinking with friends, watching the world go by, I find it exceptionally difficult to imagine this was once associated with dangerous hoods and gangland shootings. Certainly, its still got plenty of freaks and geeks waltzing in and out, bathing in the fountain, acting crazy etc, but such is the life of a beautiful urban square, which links the Prince Arthur pedestrian mall to Sherbrooke Métro station, the ITHQ and St-Denis Street. In a similar vein as Dorchester Square, this is one of those places you detour through because its simply so nice. I remember passing by the park in the middle of the day, but just after a freak rainstorm. The rain made everything glow, and the colours shone brighter than ever. People used their hands to wipe water of benches so they could enjoy their lunch, merrily leaping over puddles to guarantee a seat near the fountain in this little urban oasis.

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