Travel: Les Jardins Gamelin in Montreal

Just around the corner from my hostel in Montreal [here] and next to the metro station UQAM is the Place Émilie-Gamelin. While I was there, there was still the exciting market Les Jardins Gamelin going on. That was open every day or rather afternoon and evening until 15 October. It was a great installation consisting of urban gardening, art, an outdoor bar and seating, and live music. The market and the name of the neighborhood it is in, the Quartier des Spectacles, go very well together.

I went there several times and heard some kind of Balkan pop on two evenings. I am honest, the outdoor bar was very tempting because the weather was so summery. I am a huge fan of Canadian ciders because besides the widespread apple ones they also have pear, rose, cranberry, etc. ones. They also taste milder. So I sat drinking my cider(s) there and listened to music.

The other part was the big Humanorium that reminds of the traveling exhibition from the 19th and early 20th centuries. This one consisted of contemporary art though. The artists themselves gave tours, but I explored the different pieces myself. Some art was rather funny like the inflatable mermaid, other art was quite scary, e.g. the presentation of death through pictures of beheaded people. The highlight was a big carousel made of shopping carts. The artists pushed the carts so that the carousel would turn.

I didn’t try the carousel because I always had to many things on me – and I’m not willing to risk breaking my next camera. It was also much fun to watch people turning in those carts. But I had a thorough look at all the other art pieces. I especially liked the short movie they showed and the fortune teller machine.

The atmosphere on Les Jardins Gamelin was both relaxed and nonconformist – but I got that impression from many parts of Montreal. There were a lot of art installations outside and for free, which always appeals to people. By the way, I am indeed going to Montreal again for the U.S. Thanksgiving. I have already booked my flight there and the bus back. To me it feels like I am not yet done with that beautiful city. I am only a little sad because Les Jardins Gamelin have closed already for this year. But I am sure there’ll be many other, new great activities.

© janavar


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