During my week-long stay in Montreal this summer, I was lucky to stay in Plateau Mont Royal district. Each day I passed by art galleries. Walls, sidewalks or garbage containers were covered in colorful images. Montreal street art is everywhere and it’s beautiful. No random amateurish graffiti but stunning works of art. I hope my little gallery below will inspire you to visit this beautiful open-air art gallery.
Montreal: the city of (street) art
Montreal is known for its support for the arts. Throughout the year over hundred various art festivals take place in this biggest city of the Canadian province of Quebec. As a reward for its devotion to the arts, it was named in 2006 a UNESCO City of Design.
The Mural Festival
A lot of responsibility for this look of Montreal falls on the Mural Festival. Since its founding in 2012, each year international group of artists meet to celebrate urban art and at the moment there are over 80 murals and installations created as part of the MURAL Festival. The first thoughts to create such a Festival was born from the wish to revitalized the area on and around Saint-Laurent street.
This year, in its 5th edition, 22 artists took part to enliven the walls of Montreal once again. Among them such muralists as Insa (USA), 1010 (Germany), MadC (Germany), Ricardo Cavolo (Spain), Fintan Magee (Australia), Nuria Mora (Spain), Onur (Switzerland), Fluke et Dodo de A’shop (Canada and France), Ola Volo (Canada), Kevin Ledo (Canada), Monosourcil (Canada), Mort (Canada), Miss Me (Canada), Aaron Li-Hill (Canada), Jason Wasserman (Canada) or Joe lurato (USA). I was lucky to see some of their creations during my walks in the neighborhood. As I didn’t participate in any organized mural tour, I know I must have missed many amazing pieces of street art. I wish I found this map of Montreal Street Art ahead of my tour – I hope it can help you find all the best Montreal urban art has to offer.
The Under Pressure Festival
The Mural Festival is not the only such event dedicated to street art. There is an even older one – the Under Pressure Festival, celebrating the art of graffiti. Running for over two decades, it contributed significantly to the look of Montreal, especially around Rue Saint-Catherine.
Montreal Street Art – creativity and diversity
As I wandered through the lovely streets of Mont-Royal, I was in awe of the artists’ creativity, visions and diverse interest. There are the silly ones, the funny and visual jokes. There are the subversive, bizarre or weird, forcing us to think and re-think our views and stands. Many are visual social statements and commentary. And there are those of pure beauty, sometimes blurring lines between figurative and abstract (or even absurd art).
Montreal Street Art – Beyond Beauty and Art
Side by side with the big-scale street art you can also see quite a number of simpler but more striking political arts – posters, stickers and quickly sprayed messages of injustice, forgotten historical events or subversive ideas.
When you visit Montreal, make sure you set aside at least a few hours to just walk along St. Lawrence the neighboring streets to fill your eyes with wonder and awe (and your memory card with dozens upon dozens of photos). Montreal street art is striking, beautiful and unforgettable. I hope my photos will convince you to make the walk.
Have you been to Montreal? Did you like the street art?
Which murals did you like best?
Have I convinced you to go? 🙂