The Gay Village's iconic decorative balls are coming down for good today

Sep 24 2019, 8:14 am

Starting today, the Gay Village is going to be missing something that’s been a centrepiece of the neighbourhood since 2011.

The iconic rainbow balls will no longer decorate the sky above Ste. Catherine Street as the 180,000 piece installation will be permanently retired today.

In a phone call with a spokesperson for the Le Village gai de Montréal, it was confirmed with Daily Hive that by 3 pm today, the decorative art piece will be completely taken down.

For the past nine years, the installation, dubbed “18 Shades of Gay” by landscape architect Claude Cormier, has become a staple in the Village.

Originally, the balls were all pink until 2017 when they became multicoloured.

Cormier claims it was never his intention to keep them up for nearly a decade but had a “change of heart” since Montrealer’s overwhelming support to have it return.


Marc Bruxelle/shutterstock

Just because the balls are retiring in The Village, doesn’t mean you can’t own a little piece of Montreal’s LGBTQ2 history.

Collections of the colourful balls are for sale through the Village Montreal website and each order contains 54 rainbow balls in one colour along with a kit to install them on a string. There are six different colours to choose from and each order comes in three different shades.


As per the Village Montreal website, each order of rainbow balls costs $100 and funds raised will help cover The Village’s next art installation, slated to open in 2020. Also as part of the project, $10 will be donated to three organizations (Fondation Émergence, Interligne, Coalition des groupes jeunesse LGBTQ+) within the LGBTQ2 community.

Buyers should note that organizers urge that the balls are not to be used in any form of commercial or public use as it is “strictly forbidden.”

All orders must be picked up at Espace Village (1211 Ste. Catherine Est) and none of the orders will be available as delivery.

For more information, visit the Village Montreal website.

Tyler JadahTyler Jadah

+ News
+ Arts