Claude Cormier, Quebec’s most famous landscape architect, died on September 15 in Montreal, having left his mark across the country. He was 63 years old.

He designed some of the city’s most emblematic public developments, from the pink balls of the village to the new Dorchester Square and the beach at the Quai de l’Horloge.

Its latest project in Montreal, the giant ring of Place Ville Marie, opened last year. A “love letter” to Montreal that also turned into a farewell letter.

“Claude Cormier was the creative force behind some of Canada’s most beloved, joyful and impressive public spaces,” the press release announcing his death said.

Mr. Cormier died of multiple cancers. He suffered from Li-Fraumeni syndrome, a rare genetic predisposition to the disease.

“Very powerful ideas”

Sophie Beaudoin is co-president of CCxA, the company created by Claude Cormier and which until recently bore his name.

Photo by Edouard Plante Frechette, Press Archive

Sophie Beaudoin and Claude Cormier in 2018

“The Cormier style is that there is love, humor, beauty and generosity in everything we do,” explained M.I Beaudoin in a phone interview. Very strong ideas that are presented from the beginning and remain until the end, without being watered down. »

His work offered “the right level of subversion,” says Philippe Lupien, professor of architecture at UQAM and director of the Association of Landscape Architects of Quebec (AAPQ).

It’s a fine line: you have to shake the norms enough to get the project done, otherwise they remain fake projects.

Philippe Lupyan, Professor of Architecture at UQAM

Mr. Lupien, a landscape architect, had known Claude Cormier “for a very long time.” “I’ve seen his practice evolve over the years,” he said.

“When we see Claude’s projects, they speak to the intelligence of the people. We have the impression of initiating a discussion, and we have the impression that he has a presence in relation to the context,” said Mr. Lupyan. “There is a complexity in her landscapes that is very rare. »

  • The giant ring in Place Ville Marie

    Photo by Josie Desmarais, Press Archive

    The giant ring in Place Ville Marie

  • Water jets for Dorchester Square Fountain

    Photo by Martin Chamberland, Press Archive

    Water jets for Dorchester Square Fountain

  • An aerial view of the village's pink balls

    Photo by Martin Tremblay, LA PRESSE Archive

    An aerial view of the village’s pink balls

  • The beach at Quai de l'Horloge

    Photo by Alexis Aubin, Private Collaboration Archive

    The beach at Quai de l’Horloge

  • Pink trees in the Congress Palace hall

    Photo by Josie Desmarais, Press Archive

    Pink trees in the Congress Palace hall


Mayor Valery Plante responded to Mr. Cormier’s death on the social media network “His impact on the city’s iconography and public squares can be counted by the dozens,” she wrote. His architectural works are a legacy that will remain in our memories forever. »

“The right project at the right time”

Mr. Cormier launched his company in Montreal in 1993, after a stint at the University of Toronto and a doctorate from Harvard. A complete change of scenery for the young man who was born on a farm in the center of Quebec.

He particularly cited Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of Mount Royal Park, as a major influence.

In Quebec City, he began his career by designing the new development of Place d’Youville, in Old Montreal, before doubling the projects.

Photo by Alain Roberge, Press Archive

Yeovil Square in Old Montreal

The pink balls in the village remain a major project for the landscape architect.

It had major social impacts. Economic impacts with the revitalization of St. Catherine Street East.

Sophie Beaudoin, Co-Chair of CCxA

Philippe Lupien added that these balls “were the right project at the right time.”

Mr. Hans emphasized that the giant ring “was a very, very special project that was particularly close to his heart.”I Bowdoin. “It was really his love letter to Montreal. He always presented it that way.”

In addition to his projects in Montreal, Claude Cormier has also designed several projects in Toronto and elsewhere in North America. Mr. Hans said his urban beach projects on the shores of Lake Ontario, in Ontario’s capital city, particularly interested him.I Bowdoin.

Who is Claude Cormier?

Claude Cormier opened his clinic in Montreal in 1993, after receiving his doctorate from Harvard University.

He designed many original public squares in Montreal, Toronto and the United States over the years.

He designed some of Quebec City’s most iconic installations, from the pink balls in the village to the giant ring in Place Ville Marie.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: