- After being taken down last year, Montreal's iconic Archambault sign is back.
- The sign was returned to its place downtown Montreal early this morning.
- Many people spoke up about the sign being a part of Montreal history upon its removal, sparking Mayor Valérie Plante to act.
Considering we just celebrated our 375th birthday, it comes as no surprise that Montreal has a rich and storied history that lives on through the people as well as the architechture.
But, of course, the city marches on. Old buildings crumble and must be torn down, new businesses and tenants move in and sometimes little bits of our heritage get lost or thrown away.
Luckily, this time, we've got a happy ending.
The iconic Archambault sign that hung at the corner of Berri and Sainte-Catherine for over 80 years has finally returned to its former glory and will now go on shining over its little coin downtown for years to come.
The sign, which was taken down in a very confusing kerfuffle last year, was reinstalled this morning and is looking better than ever, thanks to a few key players who appreciated the heritage it provided.
Passersby were able to catch the massive sign on the move this morning as it was heading back home to its place outside the old Archambault music store building.
Elle est de retour 🎉 L’enseigne #Archambault vient d’arriver sur Sainte-Catherine et sera réinstallée au courant de… https://t.co/IrN0LXcMR5— Maude Boutet (@Maude Boutet) 1567600434.0
L’enseigne d’Archambault remise à sa place ce matin coin Berri / Ste-Catherine https://t.co/vxpp92WSpP— Florent Daudens (@Florent Daudens) 1567602944.0
The building, which was colloquially called "Maison Archambault," is now owned by Quebecor and is used to house their online radio station QUB, according to the CBC.
Here you can see the sign in its early days, marking the music store in April of 1936. The store itself was founded in 1896.
So, it makes sense that when news of the sign coming down starting to spread, Montrealers citywide were more than a little disappointed.
The tweet above reads:
The large Archambault sign was removed this morning at the corner of Sainte-Catherine and Berri streets. "We thought it was part of our heritage, but apparently not," says an employee.*
However, it didn't take long before the powers that be got involved to rectify the entire issue. It seemed that when Archambault moved from 500 to 510 Sainte-Catherine, Quebecor assumed they'd be taking the sign with them.
Instead, the sign was removed completely.
Quebecor reacts to removal of Archambault sign by Renaud-Bray https://t.co/rB3ZeUEIS3— Québecor (@Québecor) 1543274417.0
Luckily we have a cool ass mayor who knew what was up and purchased the sign to be owned by the city of Ville-Marie.
The tweet below reads:
It's more than a shiny sign, it's a key piece of our visual heritage, of our history. And tonight, it will shine again in the heart of our metropolis, where it was installed almost a century ago, at the corner of Berri and Sainte-Catherine.*
C’est plus qu’une enseigne lumineuse, c’est une pièce phare de notre patrimoine visuel, de notre histoire. Et dès c… https://t.co/KKiJfXLp6D— Valérie Plante (@Valérie Plante) 1567601174.0
While there were discussions of relocating the sign, it's clear that Quebecor (who purchased Archambault in 1995) didn't want to give the sign up completely, which is why we can now celebrate its return home.
L’enseigne Archambault reprend ses droits angle Berri/Ste-Catherine. https://t.co/bauUhSgmFT— Christian Latreille (@Christian Latreille) 1567602875.0
Next time you're walking by the corner of Sainte-Cath and Berri, be sure to take a look up and appreciate the amazing visual history we have in this city.
*Translations are my own.