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Photo Essay: Street Art in Montreal

Ever since my tour of New York City’s street art last fall, I’ve been looking at this art form in a completely new way. First off, I’m noticing it more, I didn’t realize how much of it actually exists. Secondly, I’m taking the time now to look at the pieces and the creativity that goes into making them instead of just walking past thinking, “oh that’s cool” as I once used to do.

Of all the cities in Canada, Montreal has the strongest street art scene. You don’t have to venture too far out your front door before you’re face to face with one of its forms (stencil, mural, wheat paste, and stickers). The city fully recognizes and encourages what street art can do for a neighbourhood or community. Just this past spring, the first annual Mural Festival was launched where close to 20 new murals were created by local and international artists over a period of 4 days transforming a 2km stretch of Rue St. Laurent into an outdoor gallery.

I was so excited to discover my trip to the city coincided with this festival. On the Friday when we arrived, we meandered our way along Rue St. Laurent (aka The Main) watching as the artists were slowly transforming huge sides of buildings. Each piece was different from the next and drew crowds of interested onlookers watching as the scenes were taking shape. On the Sunday before we left, we made our way back and were amazed at the finished products. I personally felt like my inner creativity was being awoken just viewing the different pieces and I loved the bright colours and vibrancy it brought to the area.

Other major cities should take note, because this in an amazing idea. It will be interesting to see what the 2nd installment of this festival brings and how it will (hopefully) grow and evolve in the coming years.

Below is a selection of some of the new pieces that were created during the Mural Festival along with some other pieces we came across during our time in Montreal.

The scene slowly takes shape along Rue St. Laurent. Mural by A’Shop.
Still working on a lot of the details. Mural by En Masse.
From Friday to Sunday, it’s all about a card game by Other.
Chris Dyer’s “Positive” creation.
The Paria Crew working on their piece.
Don’t put yourself in a box. By Phlegm.
Simple but effective. Mural by Omen.
A festival goer leaves their mark on the chalkboard installation.

If you want to check out these pieces created during the Mural Festival yourself (especially without the scissor lifts), take a stroll along Boulevard St. Laurent between Avenue Du Mont Royal and Rue Sherbrooke. Now for more street art:

Stikki Peaches’ wheat paste Batbond pops up all around Montreal.
A turkey, a ship, and a picnic bench.
Burning Rubber
“Based on a True Story”
Anime Street Art
Street art adorning the side of a laundromat.
The underwater themed exterior of Chez Jose restaurant.

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