“Ruelle verte” (link in French) or “green alley” is a local initiative that allows local residents in Montreal to submit projects in order to make their streets greener. Montreal is full of back alleys that connect backyards to other backyards. Cars can go, but it’s mostly used by kids and local wild animals as a playground. By applying to this program the local residents agree to make this part of the street more pedestrian, greener and simply more human. If you walk or cycle in the city, you will encounter this sign many times.
Recently, an artist couple, Melsa Montagne et Nicolas Des Ormeaux did turn their back alley into a “ruelle verte” called “le raccourci” (ie. the shortcut) in the Villeray – Saint Michel – Parc Extension part of the city. They did much more than add many flowers or old public transport furniture; they flourished it with art. Of course, walls have been painted by local artists but they have also set up an outdoor gallery where you can witness the work of more local artists. Being outdoors makes it perfect while waiting for the slow re-opening of the art galleries. And since you are there, you are only a few meters from a new park in Montreal called Frederik Back, also worth visiting.