You will soon discover that I have many love affairs in my life, other than boots & leather jackets (which is a topic for another blog), one of the prominent one is fountains. I’m no zen master but I know that watching the water flow calms my sometime chaotic mind.
This particular fountain is also a monument dedicated to Jacques Cartier and it is located at St-Henri Square (in the St-Henri borough ~ Southwest division of Montreal). It is one of the oldest memorial monuments of the Montreal’s Public art collection. The fountain has quite an interesting story.
In 1892, the city of St-Henri hired the sculptor, Joseph-Arthur Vincent, to create a monument dedicated to Jacques Cartier which would stand to represents the pride of French Canadians’ origins.
In 1893, the monument-fountain was unveiled. It stands 9 meters tall (30 feet) and was made of cast iron. In 1957, the city of Montreal wanted to move the monument near the peak of Mount-Royal. The St-Henri citizens opposed to the moving and blocked it. It may have been way before my time, but I’m glad they stood their grounds! I love being only a 5 minute walk away from it. In 1963 (still before my time!), after 70 years of weathering the elements, the statue collapsed. It was repaired, but it collapsed again in 1979.
In 1990, the citizens of St-Henri rallied again to save the statue. In 1992, sculptor Jules Lasalle produced a bronze replica of the statue and it replaced the original atop the fountain. The original statue, to prevent further deterioration, was moved to the St-Henri metro station which it remains today.
Call me a romantic, but I especially love the fountain in the evening when the yellow hues of the lights shine upon it. If you ever find yourself in St-Henri, make sure to head on over the park and if you see me sitting and admiring the fountain, don’t be shy, c’mon over and say hi! 🙂