Parc de l’Espoir - Historic Places Days

Parc de l’Espoir

Montréal, Québec
Queer Historic Place
Parc de l'Espoir, Saint Catherine Street East, Montreal, QC, Canada
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Parc de l’Espoir, originally named Parc commémoratif des personnes mortes du SIDA au Québec was created in 1991 by ACT UP MTL (Montreal chapter of the Aids Coalition to Unleash Power) in memory of the victims of HIV/AIDS in Quebec. 

The Montreal chapter of ACT UP was founded in 1990, one year following ACT UP New York’s led protest at the fifth International Aids Conference held in Montreal. ACT UP Montreal provided essential information on HIV prevention, significantly to the francophone communities of Montreal, by translating information that had previously only been available in English.

ACT UP MTL were also the organizers of a series of protests occurring in the early 90s, many of which took place at a park which would soon be named Parc de l’Espoir. Michael Hendricks, gay rights activist and a leader (together with his partner René LeBoeuf) in the establishment of Parc de l’Espoir, notes that the park began during their search for a place to end ACT UP’s yearly march in the Village.

“…we looked at this little park. It was on the corner of Panet and Sainte-Catherine. It was nothing. In fact, it wasn’t a park. It was land that the city had expropriated and were eventually going to sell. They did on several occasions try to sell it and we stopped that, and we
declared that it would be Parc de l’Espoir…eventually, the park became a motif in everything we were doing” (Hendricks & LeBoeuf 2016: 15-16).

Parc de l’Espoir was officially recognized by the city of Montreal in 1997 and underwent redevelopments in 2021. The park continues to be an important site of remembrance, reflection and community. 


“Réaction SIDA – “Le Silence = La Mort”,” AIDS Activist History Project, accessed May 26, 2023,

“ACT UP Montreal – Article about fight to establish an AIDS memorial park in Montreal,” AIDS Activist History Project, accessed May 26, 2023,

“ACT UP Montreal – Article about fight to establish an AIDS memorial park in Montreal,” AIDS Activist History Project, accessed May 26, 2023,

ACT UP Montreal, “ACT UP Montreal – “Déjà 1000 morts et tout le monde dort. Grouille-toi, pi marche!” sticker,” AIDS Activist History Project, accessed May 26, 2023,

Hendricks, Michael & LeBoeuf René. “Montreal Interviews.” By Alexis Shotwell & Gary Kinsman. AIDS Activist History Project, Interview Transcript 38. February 5, 2016.

This listing was created by Christiane-Marie Cantwell, Assistant Archivist at the Archives Gaies du Québec and Audrey Gray, Project Officer at the National Trust for Canada. 

Founded in 1983, the Quebec Gay Archives have a mandate to acquire, conserve and preserve any handwritten, printed, visual or audio material which testify to the history of the LGBTQ+ communities of Quebec. The Quebec Gay Archives play an essential role as a guardian of LGBTQ2S+ history, through its conservation  of archival fonds and collections, its organization of public events and by welcoming researchers and visitors to its reading room. Researchers can consult their collections on weekdays by appointment at”

Please confirm details at the site’s own website before planning your visit. Are you the owner/operator of this historic place? Would you like to make changes to this listing? Please contact us at


Parc de l'Espoir, Saint Catherine Street East, Montreal, QC, Canada
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