Montreal

La Fontaine Park's open air theatre will get facelift, reopen in 2021

The theatre's renovation project will include building new elevated seating for 2,500 people, along with space for about 20 wheelchair accessible spots.

The renovation has been in the works since 2018, but the redesign was delayed

The city unveiled its plans for the Théâtre de Verdure's new look on Thursday. (City of Montreal)

The open air theatre at the heart of La Fontaine Park is getting its proposed facelift after all, with the city saying work will be done in 2021.

A plan to reopen the Théâtre de Verdure was first proposed in 2018, but work on the redesign was delayed.

The theatre was originally built in 1956 as a place to hold free, public art events. It closed in 2014 after falling into disrepair.

The theatre's renovation project will include building new elevated seating for 2,500 people, including about 20 wheelchair-accessible spots.

The Théâtre de Verdure has been sitting empty since 2014. (Radio-Canada)

The design is intended to blend into the natural surrounding of the park and the technical booth will be camouflaged with a trellis and climbing vines.

The city said the theatre, which was historically closed off to the public in between shows, will be open all year round.

The architectural firm Lemay is designing the theatre and a call for tenders will soon be out to choose a contractor.

Once completed, the city says the new open air theatre will be accessible all year long. (City of Montreal)

​Magda Popeanu, the city's executive committee member responsible for culture, said the redesign takes into account the results of a public consultation on the project.

La Fontaine Park is "emblematic of Montreal," Popeanu said, and the city wanted to develop something that would blend in with the natural landscape.

She said they settled on "a vision that is green, that's open within the park, and well integrated."

Popeanu said the reopened theatre space will contribute to the thriving arts community in the Plateau borough, and offer free programming.

The city has not said how much the renovation of the Théâtre de Verdure will cost, but Popeanu said they spent $1.7 million to develop the plans.

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