A recent weekend trip to Montreal provides an inspiring look at lighting design. Interior and exterior lighting can transform a space or structure like nothing else. Lighting can create an atmosphere of warmth, introduce drama to the unremarkable, help foster a feeling or emotion, or even tell a story. And when you pair phenomenal lighting with an already extraordinary city, you get something that’s truly an inspiration.
Old Montreal at night is magical, with its narrow cobblestone streets, historic architectural details lit with colored lights, and streetscapes reflecting its roots as a French settlement, a British colony, the welcoming place for various waves of immigrants and the door to trade for early Canada.
Montreal has often been called the little cousin of Paris. The streets and ‘places’ of Old Montreal most resemble the original City of Lights. Above, hotels, office buildings, the Marché Bonsecours and the Cathédral Notre-Dame are lit up in with traditional white or deep blues and purples.
As part of its celebration of Montreal’s 375th birthday this year, Cité Mémoires is a series of 4D installations throughout Old Montreal and the downtown area. Scenes of various aspects of the city’s history are projected on buildings and provide personal stories based on historical characters or everyday people. Some are accompanied by sound as well. A website and app help tourists find the sites and explain the origins and details of the project.
‘TIS THE SEASON