A brand new Port of Montreal Tower to admire the celestial silhouette of downtown will open on May 27: “Le Journal” visited it for you

Inside Montreal, journalist Louis-Philippe Messier travels mainly on the run, his office in his backpack, on the lookout for fascinating subjects and people. He speaks to everyone and is interested in all walks of life in this urban chronicle.

A quay at the height of the river where you can dip your toe, a circular observatory on Montreal and its surroundings, a glass cage where you can walk on a transparent floor of 55 meters (vertigo guaranteed), suspended musical balloons designed with the ‘Orchestre Métropolitain, augmented reality terminals and robot “sentinel buoys”: here are some of the novelties surrounding the Port of Montreal Tower, which will soon welcome its first visitors.

On Monday, the Port of Montreal illuminated its 65-meter tower finally ready after a long construction site at the end of the Grand Quay (which our older readers know as the Alexandra Pier). Visits for the public will be possible from May 27.

I went to visit this new tourist attraction which will perhaps become the very first that travelers will do who arrive by cruise ship and disembark on the Grand Quay.

“Perched here, you can see the architectural gems of Montreal, the three bridges, Habitat 67, silo number 5, the Bota Bota spa boat, the silhouette of downtown, the stadium… you finally have an overview circular from the Port!” rejoices the architect Sonia Gagné, the designer of the building.

For THE LogI had accompanied Mr.me Earned on the site of “his” tower a year and a half ago.

Unique face to face

Even for a jaded Montrealer who thinks he has seen everything in Montreal, here is a new perspective that allows a striking face-to-face with the skyscrapers of the metropolis.

Once on the top floor of the tower, you can even see the cross of Mount Royal above the city center.

In the Tower, many pointers indicate the monuments… at 360 degrees.

“It’s like the Big Bus Tour without driving, it allows a complete appreciation of the city without moving and without a carbon footprint,” Martin Imbleau, CEO of the Port Authority, tells me.

“It’s something exceptional for us as a port authority to launch a major tourist attraction that targets both locals and travelers.”

Since its illumination on Monday evening, you can no doubt now see the Port Tower at night from the Jacques-Cartier and Samuel-de-Champlain bridges.


Sentinel buoys

On the ground floor of the Tower, which is more of a “ground floor”, three strange machines in the shape of large skittles circulate in the reception hall.

“These are our sentinel buoys, robots that move and whose faces show emotions,” explains the director of the Grand Quai, Philippe Bertout.

Clearly, these funny machines are sure to amuse children and feed Instagram.

At the Observatory level, interactive terminals reveal the contents of 18 numbered mystery balloons by displaying typical images of Montreal or the Port on the screens to which they are placed.

Suspended from a system of mechanical pulleys that hoist them up when pushed, large balloons emit a “symphony” devised by the Orchester Métropolitain when they collide.

“Kids can kick it, no problem!” laughs Mr. Bertout.

A magnificent spiral staircase in white oak and brass leads from the main observatory to the upper floor where, 55 meters above the ground, you can walk on a transparent floor… if you don’t have the vertigo of course.




Activities at the Grand Quai

The Grand Quai has a free maritime interpretation museum and a park which, it is said, will be regularly animated during the summer.

Part of the quay goes down to the water level and becomes floodable at times. So you can dip your toes in it.

“Families can come here in the park to picnic, visit the museum and the Tower”, summarizes Mr. Bertout.

The Grand Quai and its Tower are not lacking in ambition. Will the general public be there?

Note that for its first weekend of activity on May 27 and 28, visits will be free.

Thereafter, admission will be $15 per adult.

Family packages will be offered.



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