The temperature is finally rising, and in Montreal, as in many cities in the northern hemisphere, people want to enjoy the sun and stay outdoors as much as possible. The Hotel Y Montreal recommends you to enjoy urban facilities that changes the city’s face during spring and summer. These temporary projects reorganize underused sites such as alleyways, parking lots and sidewalks by giving them a whole new meaning. This transformation invites local resident to socialise and to choose a more sustainable way of life in their community. It is also a different way to explore the city and to participate to impact tourism.
The parklet concept was born in San Francisco in 2010 with the objective to redevelop public spaces. A placemaking event called The Parking Day had been organized in partnership with government, the private sector and the community. Its great success inspired many organizations, business and municipalities around the world and the parklet has thus become a major international trend .
Beyond the fun function, the American organization Project for Public Spaces (PPS) mention that placemaking is part of a growing desire to put the citizens in the heart of the decisions about public space, and more broadly, to build a city on a more humane perspective “. In other words, placemaking allows citizens to think and to occupy the public space in a more creative and eco-responsible way and thus improve their quality of life.
In Montreal, sometimes a simple installation of benches and tables may be enough to build a relaxing and sharing atmosphere. In other cases, a more elaborate structure with food trucks and a cultural program creates an animated “mini-village” that will serve to promote culture and encourage the local economy. In the end, the public space should remains social function, offering to residents and visitors an ideal place for leisure, art and exchange.
Check out 5 parklet projects to visit in the next months in Montreal.
1) Urban furniture by Bois Public
Bois Public’s mission is to contribute to the circular economy by transforming public trees into furniture. In partnership with other social economy organizations, such as Écolo-Boulot and Les Ateliers d’Antoine, it offers urban furnitures made from recycled wood and also creates new jobs for the community.
To experience some of their creations, you can enjoy the benches installed at Parc de la Petite-Italie, the Promenade Masson or on the Des Carrières path in Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie. This year, Bois Public also begins to recover sick trees at Mount Royal Park. The organization hopes that the treated wood will be especially used to improve the green alleys. 
2) La vague
Back for a second year in 2018, La Vague is a pioneering project in North America that has been installed on Saint-Denis Street in Plateau-Mont-Royal. Designed by Arcadia Studio, the 22-meter boardwalk is made of western cedar and has forty-five foggers designed to reduce urban heat islands. La Vague causes an increase of humidity in the air and considerably lowers the ambient temperature, offering pedestrians a cool break on the hottest days of the year.
For the Mayor of Plateau Mont-Royal, “the development of this cool-down on Saint-Denis Street is a gesture of beauty and design. It renews the spirit of the public squares we create on the commercial arteries by offering a meeting zone designed to take a cool break, sit down and enjoy urban life. 
The director of the Commercial Development Corporation rue Saint-Denis (SDC) identifies that the facility also generates economic benefits for the neighborhood. She believes that “the creation of a unique and original place like La Vague, will transform the shopping experience and will attract young and old to rediscover the beautiful and grand rue Saint-Denis as well as its 300 shops”. 
3) Le Village au Pied-du-Courant
Le Village au Pied-du-Courant is a reinvented park, built collectively by more than fifty professionals in architecture, design, and visual arts. This project was idealized by La Pépinière – Espaces collectifs as an urban beach located along the Saint Lawrence River. Since 2014, the village has been a gathering place for weekly events and activities, bringing together neighborhood residents, families, workers, students, tourists and festival-goers alike.
According to the organizers, the project promotes collective involvement, as well as the development of new practices in design, entrepreneurship and arts. “Its mission is to make cities more human, green and participatory” and thus improve the living environment. 
4) Les Jardins Gamelin
From May 17th to September 30th, 2018, Les Jardins Gamelin will offer every day a meeting space and cultural activities during its fourth edition. Each year, the space is laid out in a friendly way and becomes a destination of choice for those who want to enjoy the outdoors in urban areas. During lunch break, after work or on weekends, you will find options for the whole family.
In addition to serving as a meeting point and as a place for cultural events, you will also find gardens and vegetable gardens on the grounds of the Jardins Gamelin which are managed by Sentier Urbain. This one also offers urban agriculture workshops to the community to encourage people to make cities greener.
Check out the cultural program here.
5) Le PARK(ing) Day Montréal
The San Francisco event that inspired the parkletalso gave rise to The PARK(ing) Day Montreal. This local event goal is to “spark a critical debate on the sharing of public space and the space allocated to sustainable mobility (such as cycling or walking), green spaces and public places.”
This project is part of Semaines de la mobilité (mobility weeks), which generally take place in September and is organized by the Conseil Régional d’environnement de Montréal (Regional Environmental Council) as part of the national campaign J’Embarque.
The last edition, in 2017, brought together about sixty organizations that transformed parking spaces all over the island of Montreal into ephemeral citizens’ spaces that lead to discussion, exchange, reflection and creation. In addition, the event offered an extensive program of activities and artistic interventions aimed at promoting active and collective transportation.
So, if you visit Montreal during summer, take the opportunity to discover the parklet projects installed in the four corners of the city. You can sit down to read a book, enjoy the daily life of the city, taste local food or have fun in a happy hour. This experience will undoubtedly be a fun and sustainable way to travel while participating in impact tourism.
 Information from Collectivités viables.
 Information from Project for Public Spaces.
 Information from Bois public
 Information from Ville de Montréal.
 Information from Ville de Montréal.
 Information from Village au Pied du Courant.