Mural reflecting Griffintown’s history set to be largest in Montreal

“It was something that was imagined and dreamed of by the community,” said Cedrick Pautel, secretary general at ÉTS-Montréal, about the 'Ligne du temps' Griffintown mural painted on one of the school’s buildings. Diona Macalinga reports.

At 19,000 square feet, the engineering school École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) in Montreal will complete the city’s largest mural on August 20th. Called Ligne du temps, the mural showcases Griffintown’s history and engineering accomplishments.

“It’s not something that just was put up on the building. It was something that was imagined and dreamed of by the community in collaboration with the artists,” said Cedrick Pautel, secretary general at ÉTS.

“For the conception, we asked the artists to make a proposition and we put in place a committee of students and professors and people of the neighbourhood. And they interact with the artists,” Pautel explained.

The mural is painted by Artducommun artists Jasmin Guérard-Alie and Simon Bachand. A complicated 90-day process that required a swing stage, as well as having to deal with the construction and turbulent weather in Montreal.

“They do a projection on the wall at night to have the design,” said Waita Mendoza, the mural project manager. The projection allows the artists to then trace the outline on the building.

“And then they can paint over it. But there’s multiple layers, as the design shows,” she continued.

The beer industry represented with paintings of hops – a flower commonly used to brew beer – and a depiction of the historical Dow Brewery. As well as the bridges and switch tower of the Lachine Canal – its construction marking Montreal’s first industrialization boom in the 19th century.

“The canal lock and the railway – it was very top of class at the time, very advanced technology for the time,” said Pautel. “And we are an engineering school, so we are kind of trying to do the same thing now with the new technology of today.”

Although its official inauguration is set for September 2023, students and passersby can already see the art for themselves.

“All the new buildings look pretty much all the same, so it distinguishes the new building from the other one,” said ÉTS engineering student Jerome Bergeron. “It embellishes the A Building, which is pretty much the saddest looking building I would say right now. So it’s cool.”

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