Our early morning walk took us to a special place – Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle. It’s an urban park dedicated to the artist Jean-Paul Riopelle. It was right across the street from the hotel. It is mainly concrete but there were grassy areas for the pugs to do their thing.
The park contains the only fountain sculpture made by Riopelle entitled La Joute. It was cast in 1974 and setup in Montreal’s Olympic Park for the 1976 Olympic Summer Games. It was moved in 2004 to the current square dedicated to him. The centre piece is surrounded by 30 individual pieces. These are animal and mythological figures
We decided to head back to Victoria park to stretch out on some grass. On our way we encountered a Diner en Blanc (Dinner in White). It is a culinary tradition around the world where a select group of people meet in a secret location to have dinner. They were waiting for others to show up. Then they all headed off down the road.
The park had a wine cart setup so we settled in. It was cloudy so not too hot for the pugs. There was no music scheduled. We sat for awhile and watched the people. There were not that many dogs around. I decided to head over to Notre Dame Basilica.
It started to rain so we headed into the underground path. I checked the map and saw we could go all the way to the church. There were not many people on the RESO which is what they call the underground city.
There were art installations on the way. Raisin thought it was just a chair. We met a couple from Calgary who were visiting but had left their dogs at home. Raisin and Dublin were happy to give them a petting fix.
Another art installation was a vein forest. It was commissioned for a blood conference.
We finally came up from the underground at the Basilica’s square Place des Armes. Maybe the rain had kept the crowds away. Started in 1672, it took 10 years to complete. It was demolished in 1830 and the structure that was built is what we see today
The west tower was completed in 1841; the east tower in 1843. The facade with the statues was completed in 1865. The statues represent – Saint Joseph (Canada), Virgin Mary (Montreal), Saint Jean-Baptiste (Quebec). There was a wedding going on so a big crowd on the steps of the church.
On the opposite corners of Notre Dame Avenue are two Commedia-del-Arte statues. The first one we stopped at was of an Englishman, holding a pug, snubbing his nose at the Basilica (representing the power of French Canada). At the other end is a Quebec woman, holding a poodle, snubbing her nose at the Bank of Montreal (representing English power). Meanwhile the two dogs have spotted each other and want to meet.
Next to the Place des Armes is the art deco Aldred Building. There wasn’t a No Pets sign so we wandered in to view the architeture.
Finally we headed down to the river to the Jacques Cartier Quay. I was coming to the end and suddenly saw out of the corner of my eye- Habitat from Expo 67 (in the background). I went to Expo and toured Habitat with my class. This brought back memories.
The mighty St. Lawrence and two mighty pugs.
We headed back to the hotel. On the way we passed an outdoor art installation entitled The Urban Forest. There was an information booth that was handing out guides to all the activates for the 375th anniversary.
We did lots of rest stops along but the pugs were tired. I hadn’t expected to walk that far or I would have brought the cart. They had a good sound sleep and I went to an Absinthe bar for dinner.