Montreal Sundry: La Grande Terrasse

Winter in Montreal sucks. It’s endless, desperately cold, and induces much cabin fever from being cooped up indoors for so long.

Every summer, is, therefore, a celebration.

Lately Montreal’s been putting up communal spaces for people to enjoy for as long as the sun is shining, compensating for the difficult season enveloping most of the year. There are the outdoor pianos, and some musical swings in front of the metro Place des Arts, and this year I was lucky enough to happen upon a whole new mega-space.

La Grande Terrasse.

La Grande Terrasse running for a couple of blocks along Saint-Denis, Montreal.

Running a substantial length of Saint-Denis, between Roy and Duluth, it makes the Plateau even more appealing. (For those not of Montreal, the Plateau is a very trendy area known for its particularly artistic and quirky vibe.)

It was the hammocks that first caught my eye (see above), huge square canvas nests to chill in alongside the sidewalk. I thought it was just that, but we kept going, following the cherry red plank-wood walk. After the Espace Hamacs, there were reading chairs, a music nook (with one of the Montreal Sundry pianos!), a giant sandbox, a public speaking podium complete with seating for impromptu gatherings, and – best of all – a game space.

The latter had a sandbag toss, a giant wooden Connect 4, and a sample slackline that you could practice walking on (similar to a tightrope).

2016 Down from the Door Montreal Sundry La Grande Terrasse Connect 4
Connect 4 set up for free use by any passerby.

I’ve been wanting to try slackline since seeing people practicing at the Tams. One weird talent I was born with was excellent balance, and as such I’ve always wanted to try my hand (or feet) at the tightrope.

So seeing that slackline there, I couldn’t help myself.

2016 Down from the Door Montreal Sundry La Grande Terrasse Slackline
Walking a fine line there…

I actually made it across a bunch of times! Definite moment of pride there (although it’s a full on workout – my legs are still sore from using those muscles).

What makes La Grande Terrasse (and all these community projects) so much more amazing, however, is that Montrealers respect them. There are so many places in the world that you can’t do stuff like this for fear of vandalism. Here though, people here are placid and appreciative. Just goes to show that being nice brings about good karma.

So if you haven’t seen La Grande Terrasse already (it’s been up since May so I’m very much a latecomer to this), it warrants checking out.

Until next time!

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