If you’ve ever spent time in Montreal (or if you’ve read Your Sound already) you’ll know that art is a big part of what gives the city its distinct vibe, and street art is an especially prominent aspect of this. Molly, the heroine of Your Sound, is a street art aficionado, and almost all of the pieces she mentions in the novel are actually real examples of the art you can see in Montreal.
For today’s blog post, I thought I’d take us all on a little virtual street art tour to see some of these pieces and provide a bit more information on how they came to work themselves into the story.
First up is Molly’s favourite piece of street art in the city. It’s actually my favourite piece as well! I took this photo myself when I was about twenty years old and thought I was really cool running around snapping shots of random things on the street with a disposable camera. I’ve loved this piece for years, and once I discovered Molly’s passion for street art, I knew I’d have to work in a nod to this little phrase. It's simple, but it always makes me smile. You can find it downtown, on Sherbrooke Street.
The Graffiti Grandma is a well known and well loved piece of work in Montreal. It’s just off the main thoroughfare of Boulevard Saint-Laurent, which is one of the most restaurant/bar/shop-lined streets in the city and the epicentre of my favourite neighbourhood, the Plateau.
There are a few of these diamonds placed on walls around Montreal. I never knew anything more about them until writing Your Sound. Molly and JP go to see the one on Saint-Laurent (which is real! See if you can find it if you’re ever around), which prompted me to do some research into them. The artist behind these diamonds has placed them all over the world, so they’re not a Montreal speciality, but it always feels cool to spot one you never noticed before in the city.
A brief mention is made to this art nouveau piece in the NDG neighbourhood, done by the same collective who brought the Graffiti Grandma to life. It’s massive and absolutely stunning.
This is another piece that gets mentioned in passing, and it’s also a favourite of mine. I just love the lighting in it, and how you can almost hear the neon buzzing.
If this has you hooked, you can check out the MURAL Fest’s website, which has an online street art map to explore. If you’re ever in Montreal, don’t forget to keep an eye out for one of Molly’s goldfish ;)