Ste-Catherine Street pedestrian mall set to reopen under a canopy of rainbow balls

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Here come May showers: a rainy day guide for the next week in Montreal

As the warm weather begins to set in, two separate sections of Ste-Catherine Street will become a pedestrian mall for nearly five months starting Saturday.

To add to the summer ambiance, the annual sea of pink coloured balls that hang above a one-kilometre stretch of the street in the Gay Village will be swapped this May for more than 170,000 multicoloured balls representing a rainbow.

"The pink balls have been a signature of Montreal's LGBT community for years — it put Montreal on the map," said Jean-Sébastien Boudreault, the vice president of Pride Montreal.

"But having the rainbow, especially this year where Montreal's going to be hosting the first edition of Canada Pride, it's really exciting."

The change also marks the 35th anniversary of the Gay Village.

Two stretches of the main artery will be closed off to car and bus traffic for the summer:

- In the Gay Village: Ste-Catherine Street East between St-Hubert Street and Papineau Avenue starting Saturday at 7 a.m. until Sept. 29.

- In Quartier des spectacles: Ste-Catherine Street West between Bleury Street and St-Laurent Boulevard  starting May 1 until Sept. 7.

Along with the first edition of Pride Canada, several activities are planned and pedestrian structures will be put in place to allow restaurants and cafes to install terrasses.

Montreal said it will install signs for detours. Delivery trucks will still be able to access the stores during the week.

Correction : Ste-Catherine Street in the Gay Village will be closed to traffic as of April 29. A previous version of this story said the street closed April 28.(Apr 28, 2017 2:15 PM)