Cartier Avenue's Giant Lampshades – Québec City, Québec - Atlas Obscura

Cartier Avenue's Giant Lampshades

The floating gallery illuminates the heart of Québec City's arts district. 


The charm of this neighborhood is enhanced by the 34 giant lampshade street lights that adorn Cartier Street.. You might miss them at first because they blend in so well with the eclectic feeling of the neighborhood, but once you look up, you will not look away.

The Montreal design firm Lightemotion conceived of this project, which featured at first writing the work of Quebecois painters Alfred Pellan and Fernand Leduc from the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. LED strips power the artwork. Each light is five feet high and eight feet across and makes a bold and impressive statement. 

At night, the lamps illuminate the Montcalm neighborhood, which is known as the city’s arts district. During the day, they add warmth to the neighborhood, shine an artistic hue on the storefronts, and serve as an outdoor public art gallery.

Know Before You Go

This is near the Grand Théâtre de Québec ( two streets east along René-Lévesque Boulevard),  Théâtre Périscope and Théâtre Premier Acte both on Salaberry Street ( the next one east along René-Lévesque) and not far from Théâtre Le Diamant and music venue Palais Montcalm on Place d'Youville. Down Côte Salaberry is Théâtre de La Bordée. Also one street away from the Plains of Abraham great park on which the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec is situated.

As regular streetlamps, they are illuminated  all night long (at the time of this writing, January 5 2022, there is a Covid curfew from 22.00 to 05.00 when you must be inside).

Accessible via bus routes 11 and 111 on Grande-Allée (Cartier northern end), 807 and 907 on Chemin Ste-Foy (Cartier southern end), 25, 800 and 801 on René-Lévesque (which intersect Cartier in half). There are others running to the Grand Théâtre or at certain peak times (ask you hotel).

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