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Jacques Cartier Bridge

Illumination of the Jacques Cartier Bridge
How much did the Jacques Cartier Bridge illumination project cost?

The budget envelope for this project was $39.7 million. This budget included costs for the concept, design, execution and expenses to operate and maintain the installation over the next 10 years.

How much came from the federal government?

The Corporation provided $30 million of the total project cost. The rest of the funding came from the Society for the Celebration of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary. Costs for the illumination project included costs for the concept, design, execution, and expenses to operate and maintain the installation over the next 10 years.  

How long will the illumination be operational? Why is the project limited to 10 years?

For the next 10 years, JCCBI will be proud to use its expertise to oversee the illumination project on the Jacques Cartier Bridge, which was developed by Moment Factory and its partners.

Will there be light sequences to celebrate causes, sports victories or national holidays?

This installation is not a billboard. The illumination of the bridge and its original concept of seasonal colours and “living connections” must remain the primary attraction so as not to distort the nature of the project.

However, the bridge may be used to recognize some major events, for example during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the bridge was illuminated in the colours of the rainbow (the “ça va bien aller” campaign).

Could you change the colour of the bridge for a cause?

Special illuminations of the Jacques Cartier Bridge can’t be arranged since the Living Connections concept was designed with smart programming. This means that the illumination is activated by millions of data points that pulse to the beat of the city, particularly activity on social networks.

Note that the bridge changes colours with the seasons according to a 365-colour calendar.

Did you know that you can make the Jacques Cartier Bridge shine even brighter?

You can! In fact, the bridge lights constantly react to Montreal’s energy with a discreet movement of light fragments up and down the structure. The intensity, speed and density of the light fragments change depending on how often #illuminationMTL is used on social media.

To learn more about the concept, visit the Illumination of the Jacques Cartier Bridge page.

Who manages the programming and controls the “live” animation?

The programming is automated and preset based on an interactive illumination concept developed by a consortium of seven Montreal lighting and multimedia companies led by Moment Factory. JCCBI is responsible for the system for a 10-year period.

Will JCCBI’s work on the bridge affect the illumination?

Yes, but very minimally. The design created in coordination with Moment Factory accounts for the protection of illuminated sections so that JCCBI can do work on the bridge.

Is the bridge illuminated every day?

The Jacques Cartier Bridge lights up every day at sunset. However, during a half-masting of the Canadian flag, which affects all Government of Canada buildings and institutions, the bridge illumination is toned down.

At what time will the bridge be illuminated today?

The Jacques Cartier Bridge lights up at sunset. You can find the expected time for today’s date on the National Research Council Canada website.

When is the best time to admire the illumination?

Every day at sunset!

Every hour, the dominant themes from the media add colour to the bridge: green for environment, turquoise for technology, yellow for business, blue for sports, pink for institutions (religion, politics and justice), red for society (health, education and lifestyle) and purple for the arts.

Since January 2018, a short one-minute light show comes on every half hour.

Where are the best places to admire the illumination of the Jacques Cartier Bridge?
What are the project’s electricity costs?

The estimated electricity costs are approximately $30,000 to $40,000 a year. This estimate will be refined over the year once we have accumulated a longer consumption history.

Half-masting

Being a federal Crown corporation, The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated ensures that the illumination of the Jacques Cartier Bridge follows the notices of half-masting of the Canadian flag, issued by Canadian Heritage, normally for a period of 24 hours. The annual illumination programming is then interrupted exceptionally, and the illumination is dimmed or “half-mast”. This procedure will be maintained, except in the case of half-masting notices issued for an undetermined period: in such cases, the bridge illumination will be dimmed for a maximum of 7 consecutive days.

L’International des Feux Loto-Québec
What safety measures have you put in place?

As has been the case since 1987, the Jacques Cartier Bridge is closed to car and bicycle traffic from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. during the evenings of the fireworks. However, additional police and security staff are deployed during this event to keep the site and festival-goers safe. 

Since 2017, bags have been searched and only plastic water bottles are allowed. 

Restrictions: 

  • No glass containers 
  • No pets (even in a bag or stroller) 
  • No bicycles, skateboards, or roller blades.

The path and sidewalk are closed at 8:00 p.m. for inspection.

How many people on average attend the fireworks on the Jacques Cartier Bridge?

According to the Sûreté du Québec, between 6,000 and 18,000 people attend the fireworks each night.

Parking areas

There are a number of parking lots in Montreal near the Jacques Cartier Bridge and the Old Port of Montreal. Please consult Google maps to find the exact locations.

Île Sainte-Hélène pavilion
Why did you make these murals?

The pedestrian crossing used to be a purely functional corridor for pedestrians and cyclists that was not very inviting. The mural brings this passageway alive, increases the feeling of safety for users, and improves its integration with the surrounding urban environment.

Is part of your mission really to subsidize this type of art project? Shouldn't you be focusing on infrastructure maintenance and repair?

These projects are part of the Corporation’s broader mission to improve the urban integration, functionality and aesthetic appeal of the structures under its responsibility. These projects are part of our mission to use systemic management and a sustainable development approach to ensure that the major infrastructure under our responsibility lasts as long as possible. 

The money invested is minimal compared to our major maintenance budget.

Île Sainte-Hélène pavilion usage and rentals

Unfortunately, the Île Sainte-Hélène pavilion building cannot be rented out as it is currently undergoing structural repairs that will continue for several years. 

While this work is ongoing, JCCBI is considering how this building will be used in the future.

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