On sunny summer days you can join the office workers, store clerks, and downtown shoppers who gather in these two green squares in the center of the city to eat lunch under the trees and perhaps listen to an open-air concert. If there are no vacant benches or picnic tables, you can still find a place to sit on the steps at the base of the dramatic monument to the dead of the Boer War. Other statues honor Scottish poet Robert Burns (1759–96); Sir Wilfrid Laurier (1841–1919), Canada's first French-speaking prime minister; and Sir John A. Macdonald (1815–91), Canada's first prime minister.
With a C$9.2 million dollar contribution from the city, Place du Canada is getting a facelift, to include clearing old bones from the former Saint-Antoine Cemetery (closed in 1854), new planting of trees and flower gardens, and new lighting. Work is set to be completed by the end of 2015.
Bordered by bd. René-Lévesque and rues Peel, Metcalfe, and McTavish, Montréal, Québec, H3B 2V6, Canada