Anyone who walks down Prince Arthur can see that it’s nothing like it used to be. Nowadays, if you take a stroll through the once-vibrant street—where restaurants thrived, tourists flocked, and there was always plenty of pedestrian traffic—you’ll find an empty lane with plenty of bored restaurant staff and a few boarded up storefronts. With graffiti covering its walls and trash littering the street, it seems that the only reminder of Prince Arthur’s former glory left is its cobblestones.
Luckily, even the city of Montreal has taken notice of its disrepair and—thanks to their overzealous dedication to revitalizing the city with various projects in honour of its upcoming 375th birthday—they’ve resolved to give Prince Arthur the makeover it so desperately needs. According to a report from Nightlife, the project was first announced in June and is has recently taken a big step forward in the form of two potential models for the future street, which are outlined in detail here.
Inspired by Pearl Street in Boulder, Colorado, the first option entails gathering all of the benches, greenery, and terrasses in the centre of Prince Arthur, and then having two pedestrian walkways on either side. Nightlife notes that while Borough Councillor Christine Gosselin didn’t explicitly state which direction they’d be taking with the project, she did seem to side with this one. Personally, we’d have to agree; having two lanes for pedestrians could help with traffic quite a bit, and having one central communal space rather than a bunch of spread out terrasses and benches sounds like a great way to build a more welcoming vibe.
The second option, which is a little more traditional but with a slight twist, involves keeping all of the public dwelling spaces to the sides of the street. But instead of having them all aligned straight with the buildings, the terrasses and green spaces would gradually slope inwards and outwards, pinching the lane in at some points. While this may be more aesthetically interesting than just keeping the pedestrian pathway parallel to the storefronts, we’re not sure how big of a difference it would make from ground level…
If all goes according to schedule, the city will make their choice by the end of the month, with construction beginning in the spring and completed by the end of next year.