You might have seen them around the city but, being the busy person you are, not made much of them — pieces of art, of all shapes and sizes that seem to invade the urban landscape. Believe it or not such pieces are better known as Public Art. Read on…

Montreal is in fact one of the leaders in Public Art. So much so that in 1989, the Montreal Public Art Bureau was founded to oversee this whole field. The bureau quite simply bases its existence upon the following three guidelines:

– Acquisition of new works of art, with priority given to contemporary visual art practices and Québec artists;
– Preservation of works of art in the spirit of maintaining their integrity and the artist’s intent; and
– Enhancement and promotion of the collection.

Quick Fact:

“The oldest piece in Montréal’s public art collection is the Nelson Column, created in 1809 by the architect Robert Mitchell, located in Place Jacques-Cartier.”

Source: Montreal Public Art Bureau

Now, that’s all fine and dandy but why did I even bother to bring this up? Well, by pure accident, while browsing the Public Art Bureau’s site, I stumbled upon a very short yet concise database of the various Public Art pieces that are scattered around the city. Really, you get a quick overview and insight into works which you might see everyday and whose raison d’etre you may have pondered. Pretty neet! Check it all out at: