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“Maison Symphonic!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Place des Arts

Place des Arts
Ste-Catherine St | Latin Quarter, Montreal, Quebec H2X 1Y9, Canada (Ville-Marie)
514 842 2112
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Top Rated
$11*
and up
Walking Tour of Old Montreal or Downtown Montreal
Ranked #18 of 167 Activities in Montreal
Type: Biking Trails, Performances, Theaters, Amusement
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Attraction details
Owner description: Montreal's top performance hall features music, drama and more.
Burlington VT. USA
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Maison Symphonic!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

One of the best venues ever ................... the show was magnificent in this hall. Seating, lighting, sound and temperature were perfect. Easy parking, and a a decent price to park ($10) Canadian.

Visited April 2013
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Montreal, Canada
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
43 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
119 helpful votes 119 helpful votes
“A very large cultural complex that works very well”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2013

Place des Arts is one of those cultural complexes, like Lincoln Center in NYC that were built in the late 50's and the 60's. Many failed to bring the urban renewal expected but it is neither the cast at Lincoln Center or at Place des Arts where it is mission accomplished.
The only problem with Place des Arts is that it was built over a very long period of time, some spaces completely changing vocation and the result is far from homogeneous. So you have a large all purpose hall (Salle Wilfred Pelletier, around 3,000 seats) that présents opera ballet, Broadway shows and big name entertainment. Then the newest of the lot Maison Symphonique (a concert hall of around 2,000 seats) that is home to the Montréal Symphony Orchestra but présents a lot of other classical or popular concerts too. Théâtres Maisonneuve and Théâtre Jean-Duceppe are stacked one over the other, they are mainly for theatrical ventures but Maisonneuve also host some smaller operas and dance pièces. The Café Théâtre (around 100) is in the same building but not used so much anymore. The last building host the Musée d'Art Contemporain but also La Cinquième Salle a small multiconfiguration theatre of around 200 seats that often features Montréal anglo theatre and also a multimedia hall.
Add to that one white tablecloth restaurant (Le Steingalt), one café on the main concourse, another more upscale one in the Musée d'Art Contemporain (see this entry in the Things to Do in Mtl).
There is a métro station with a direct link that features a large beautiful stained glass window by Frédéric Back, three times nominee and twice winner of the Oscar for the best animation movie. A lot of other modern art pièces in the different foyers plus some along the central concourse indoor and some other over it outdoor. There is also special stairs/bleachers and other ventures for the Place des Festivals, just outdoor.
Note that in summer all of the different theaters and halls are used by the numerous festivals that Montréal host.
There are no guided tours organized on a daily or even weekly basis anymore but you can visit the whole complex with a guide during the Journées de la Culture in the Fall and also during the «Nuit Blanche», part of the Montréal Highlights Festival in February.
Otherwise just take time to arrive in advance when attending a show, first to get acquainted with the whole place and layout and, during intermissions tour the different lobbies and artworks of the space where you are attending a show.
Note that there are different listings and reviews for the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal & Maison Symphonique on one hand and of the Musée d'art Contemporain on the other in the Things to Do in Montréal section of TA.
There are no fees just to linger around the central councourse, look outside, etc but except for the above mentioned times you will have to addend a paying event to explore one of the component. So just viewing the open parts will take you less than hout but if attending a show it can last anything from 90 minutes to 4 hours.

Visited March 2013
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Manchester, New Hampshire
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100 reviews 100 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Neat place, fun architecture”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013

Loved this 'place', for the interesting architecture and landscaping. Who would think you'd find a swingset on a sidewalk? Check out the museum of contemporary arts, and the underground passageways.

Visited April 2013
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Montreal, Canada
Top Contributor
73 reviews 73 reviews
50 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
107 helpful votes 107 helpful votes
“Amazing performance centre!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013

Beautiful venue! Of course, I wouldn't suggest you take a trip to downtown Montreal just to see the Place des Arts, but if you have a concert or a show to see and it is being held at this venue, that's an added plus! The only thing I will say is that it is not very easy to find concession stands, so make sure you eat before arriving (many good restaurants in the area). Also, when you get to the south side of the centre, it is only accessible by foot, so the mobility-reduced, beware! :)

Visited February 2013
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Montreal
Top Contributor
106 reviews 106 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
187 helpful votes 187 helpful votes
“Concerts, Opera, Ballet, Theatre and more”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

This is Montreal's opera and ballet theatre of sorts ..it is where the main ballets, operas and serious classical concerts are presented, as well as plays, modern dance, musicals and other genres including circus -- like Cirque Éloize (will return in autumn) and a fantastic recent premiere of Daniele Finzi Pasca's La Verità.

The complex itself has been revived and revamped with the addition of an excellent concert hall, and modern lights and features in the halls and outside the arts centre.

Visited April 2013
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