Construction has just wrapped up on a $73.4 million project to transform the festival grounds and surrounding area at Parc-Jean Drapeau, the enormous green space that occupies the entirety of Île Notre-Dame in the St. Lawrence River.
The new grounds, called Espace 67, are "a multi-purpose event site with many different sectors that can play host to a variety of activities for the local population and beyond," according to a press release.
"With the completion of Espace 67, Parc Jean-Drapeau now has international-calibre infrastructures for hosting events, along with being able to reinstate two magnificent works — the Biosphere and Alexander Calder's Les Trois disques sculpture to a place of prominence," noted Société du Parc Jean-Drapeau chairman Renaud Coulombe.
The new space recalls the glories of the festival for which Parc-Jean Drapeau was created — Expo '67 — and includes features to optimize and enhance the festival experience. New towers with mounts for speakers will envelop concert-goers in music.
"The site is now able to accommodate 65,000 people, compared to the previous total of 45,000," the press release continues. Above all, the space has become a more welcoming venue, says MTLBlog reporter Alex Melki.
You can watch his tour of the new space below:
Planners took care to "combine nature and culture," Melki notes, while adding new amenities and attractions. Perhaps most excitingly, a restaurant with an expansive terrasse now sits in the space.
Other permanent features ensure that Espace 67 will be a yearlong destination. A new lookout provides sweeping views of the Montreal downtown and better connects visitors with the St. Lawrence River. The space is also universally accessible.