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Village au Pied-du-Courant
Photograph: Esther Gibbons

The riverside urban beach project Village au Pied-du-Courant opens today!

The urban beach project Village au Pied-du-Courant is reopening today with limited gatherings of 50 people at a time.

JP Karwacki
Written by
JP Karwacki

Starting today at 2PM, Montrealers will once agin be able to visit the Village au Pied-du-Courant, an urban beach project located alongside the Saint-Lawrence River. This season is set to look very different from past years of activity, but the soul of it all will remain the same.

Since its creation in 2015, the site has become a gathering spot for a variety of local programming accessible to everyone—from families to date nights—with movie screenings, performances and places to grab some snacks and drinks while digging your toes into the sand. The best part? All programming and entry to the site is completely free to everyone.

Food and drink will be available, and there will be an option of bringing your own picnic to the site.

The situation around COVID-19 requires that the space limit its visitors to 50 at a time, and the fundraising site for the project mentions that the current focus of the project is to simply create the space, following by a 'light program' that follows health guidelines.

Opening hours and procedures around the site's management has yet to be released, but visitors can likely expect the usual rules and regulations found elsewhere in the city: The use of masks will be recommended as the space is outdoors, social distancing should take place and hygiene via hand-washing and sanitizers are likely to be made available.

The exact programming for the space hasn't been announced yet, but it will be interesting for Montrealers to see how someone might be able to experience a communal space minus the ways the urban space has been used in the past. Previous years have featured aspects such as common hammocks to hang from, dance classes, and other activities or installations that would involve people being in close contact to one another or to get in contact through surfaces.

Currently, the organizing body behind the project La Pépinière has an ongoing fundraiser to develop more projects for the remainder of the year, with funding going toward both Village au Pied-du-Courant and Les Jardineries, another urban space located by the Olympic Park.

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