Photo : Robert Gingg

Fontaine de Tourny

Québec (Québec)

As Québec City prepared to celebrate its 400th anniversary in 2008, Simons department stores—the city’s premiere fashion retailer–wanted to present the community with a worthy gift to mark the occasion.

On a trip to France, the company’s CEO, Peter Simons, had discovered an elaborate 19th-century cast-iron sculptural fountain lying in pieces in a Parisian antique dealer’s back courtyard. (The fountain had originally stood at one end of the Allée de Tourny in the city of Bordeaux, which dismantled it in 1960 as a cost-saving measure, and the dealer had purchased it some years later.) When Mr. Simons returned to Québec City, he began dreaming of making this fountain his company’s 400th-anniversary present to the city where it was founded.

He then called on LEMAYMICHAUD and asked us to propose a setting in which the fountain could again express all the charm and exuberance of its original design. Without a moment’s hesitation, we proposed installing it at the centre of the roundabout in front of Québec’s Parliament Building, where we knew that it would soon become emblematic of the city’s Parliament Hill.

Next came a series of working sessions in which we developed the concept that would show all the attributes of this work of art to best advantage. We had all of its sculptural elements restored by the French foundry that had cast them originally, and we helped to choose their new colour. For the fountain’s lower basin, we commissioned new sculptures of cast-iron frogs who spit jets of water upward into the next two basins, thus creating the overall shape that makes the fountain so attractive.

The Fontaine de Tourny has now become an iconic attraction of Québec City, giving joy and pleasure both to its citizens and to the thousands of tourists who come to admire it every year.


Learn more about the Fontaine de Tourny Website.

Check out other LEMAYMICHAUD’s entertainment projects.


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