Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Digital Projects Add New Ways to Explore Montreal's Neighbourhoods

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Digital Projects Add New Ways to Explore Montreal's Neighbourhoods

Article excerpt

Digital projects a way to explore Montreal


MONTREAL - Audio guides and walking tours have always been popular ways to get to know a city, but thanks to smartphones, this time-honoured activity has been undergoing a digital shift.

Montreal, home to several universities and a vibrant artistic community, has a number of digital mapping projects and online or tech-enhanced tours that offer different ways for visitors to explore various neighbourhoods.

Many of these online projects include maps with points of interest arranged around a theme, whether it be oral history, literary works or vanishing industrial heritage.

The use of smartphones means many of these digital tours can now include video, audio, holograms, history and art, according to multimedia producer Philip Lichti.

"(Smartphones) allow you to deliver these different sorts of media to phones, and there's also the technological capability of a phone to be able to situate where the listener is, not only in the geographic space but also the three-dimensional space," Lichti said.

Montreal's best-known digitally enhanced walking tour is undoubtedly Cite Memoire, which tells the story of Old Montreal through a series of giant multimedia projections screened onto the facades of nearby historical buildings.

On a smaller scale, one can find a number of interesting projects that tell the story of Montreal's transforming neighbourhoods through the eyes of the people who live or grew up there.

Here is a small sample of the English-language offerings:

Cite Memoire (Montreal's Old Port area)

Cite Memoire brings the city's history to life through more than 20 tableaux that include video, stories, and music.

Visitors download a free app, available in four languages, which includes a map and GPS and allows them to hear the words and music to accompany each of the projections.

These cover a wide range of well-and-lesser-known historical milestones -- ranging from the story of Montreal's first executioner to that of Montreal Canadiens hockey great Maurice Richard.

Several new tableaux are being added to the $18-million circuit this year, including one that honours the 50-year anniversary of Expo 67. …

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