Place Ville-Marie turns 50

February 7, 2012

It's the ''grande dame '' jubilee! Place Ville Marie recently kicked off the festivities to mark its 50th anniversary, in the presence of associate partners and many key figures from the business community and architecture and urban planning circles. A series of events is planned to highlight this jubilee year for the landmark cruciform tower, its 10,000 occupants, its 360,000 weekly visitors and all Montrealers.

The year 2012 marks a historic moment for Montreal and for Place Ville Marie, a property of Ivanhoé Cambridge and Alberta Investment Management Corp. (AIMco.), affectionately nicknamed “La grande dame de Montréal” by residents of the city. The festivities will culminate on September 13, 2012, exactly 50 years after Place Ville Marie’s official inauguration.

“This is a key anniversary for architecture, Canadian heritage and Montreal’s economic and social environment,” said Dany Gauthier, Senior General Manager, Place Ville Marie.. “Place Ville Marie was the tallest building in the Commonwealth in 1962, propelling Montreal into modernity. With Place Ville Marie reaching its 50th birthday, it’s our duty to organize celebrations befitting the grandeur of the expectations of the visionaries who originated this project!”

A permanent commemorative work

Through a partnership with the Royal Bank of Canada, Place Ville Marie will receive a new piece of art on its outdoor esplanade to mark its half-century anniversary. Nicolas Baier was the artist chosen to create this permanent work of art to be unveiled this autumn following his participation in a competition.

A series of initiatives to mark Place Ville Marie’s 50th anniversary

In addition to this commemorative work, Place Ville Marie has planned various activities and events to mark its 50th anniversary in a significant way. In collaboration with VIA Rail Canada, it is also launching a "Visions of Tomorrow" Time Capsule competition and is inviting the general public, well-known figures in various fields and its main partners to share their visions of the future and offer their stories. 

Various exhibitions and promotions will highlight the anniversary throughout the year. The festivities will culminate in September with a program of varied activities intended for the general public, including an urban picnic on the Place Ville Marie esplanade paying tribute to 50 years of Montreal music and culture.

A souvenir book painting a complete portrait of Place Ville Marie’s rich history will also be launched on this occasion. 

About Place Ville Marie

An architectural jewel designed by I.M. Pei (creator of the famous pyramid at the Louvre)  and Henry N. Cobb, the Place Ville Marie complex stands out with its famous cruciform tower, the tallest of its type in Canada (188 metres). Still very contemporary, Place Ville Marie has evolved with the times and has metamorphosed with its technological, energy-related and environmental innovations to remain in the vanguard and meet the needs of the hundreds of renowned Canadian and international companies housed there. Today Place Ville Marie has become, as suggested by the visionary spirits who conceived it in 1962, a “city within a city” and forms the heart of Montreal’s business centre. The Galerie Place Ville Marie still moves to the beat of the major trends while providing a site filled with warmth and dynamism. Nearly 80 renowned restaurants and shops can be found there.