Lafontaine Park is an 84 acres urban park located in the borough of Le Plateau-Mont-Royal in Montreal, Quebec. Named in honour of Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine, the first French Prime Minister of the Province of Canada.
The park’s features include two linked ponds with a fountain and waterfalls, open-air Théâtre de Verdure and the Calixa-Lavallée cultural centre, playing fields and tennis courts. The ponds are a popular attraction during Montreal’s hot summers, with outdoor ice skating in winter. Bike paths run along the park’s western and northern edges
La Fontaine Park is located on the grounds of the old Logan farm. The land was sold in 1845 to the Government of Canada. Two years later, the greenhouses from Viger Square were moved to the park, where all the flowers that embellished the city were grown, until 1952.
In 1900, the city dug two basins at different levels, in the center of the park. They were separated by a waterfall over which the French landscape architect Clovis Degrelle built a bridge.
In 1901, the Park was renamed La Fontaine Park, to honor the memory of Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine, the first francophone prime minister of the Province of Canada. The illuminated fountain, which was designed by Léon Trépanier and commissioned by the Westinghouse Electric Company, was erected in the north basin in 1929. At the same time, the monument in honor of Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine was installed.
A few years later, under the direction of Claude Robillard, the director of the Municipal Parks Service, La Fontaine Park was completely redesigned. A chalet restaurant according to the plans by architect Donat Beaupré. The new building was part of an overall plan including a central pavilion, an amphitheater with a capacity of 4,000 seats, a new bridge and the modification of the two ponds. The greenhouses, caretaker’s house, the waterfall and the Grenelle-built bridge were demolished.
In 1953 the chalet restaurant was opened by the Mayor of Montreal, Camillien Houde. The Théâtre de Verdure was inaugurated on 8 July 1956.
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