U-Haul Building’s Top Floor Becomes Mt. Dew Skate Park in Montreal

MONTREAL Six weeks of pulse-pounding, air-catching excitement will soon come to a close at one of Montreal’s most unique venues.

Since Jan. 24, Canadian teens and young adults have made Mt. Dew’s Underground (or “Undrgrnd”) Skate Park their hangout away from home at the historic, U-Haul-owned Cité 2000 building near the Jacques Cartier Bridge.

MtDewSkatePark9U-Haul du Centre-Ville de Montreal Cité 2000 agreed to let the Undrgrnd team take over its vacant fifth floor and transform it into a neon-laced, music-pumping warehouse where skateboarders, BMX bikers and gamers rule the night – and day.

Elements of the X Games are sprinkled with the chill vibe of concert, arcade and garage scenes to form a place where kids can be themselves (with no admission fee). Check out a video of the skate park here: Mt. Dew Undrgrnd Skate Park.

Marketing companies often approach U-Haul Cité 2000 Director of Operations Andréa Lafréchoux about hosting events. After all, the third and fourth floors located just below the skate park feature 116 musical studios utilized by 1,500 musicians.

But she had never considered bringing anything quite like this to 2000 Notre Dame E.

“Our staff knows the cardinal rule is never say ‘no’ to a potential client,” Lafréchoux said. “When the first call came in from SDI Marketing, the people behind the scenes of Undrgrnd, nobody really knew what to expect.

“Being one of the only places on the Island of Montreal with a 25,000-square-foot space dedicated to cultural activities, we get calls every day from artists looking to book their next art showing, casting call or movie production. Our team meets with the potential clients to show the area and make sure that it fits their needs, and that they understand our primary objective is to keep giving great service to our U-Haul storage and truck rental customers.MtDewSkatePark2

The day of the Undrgrnd meeting, 15 people arrived to survey Cité 2000’s fifth floor. When the questions started, Lafréchoux realized this wouldn’t be an easy task to pull off.

A couple of months of preparation and a few sleepless nights went into booking the skate park and seeing it come to fruition.

“It’s refreshing to see such a hugely successful company booking local and home bands for the gigs at Dew Underground on Friday nights, as well as relieving skateboarders and BMX riders from the bitter winter,” U-Haul Cité 2000 Team Member Chelsea Harrisson said.

“I think of the many reasons why Cité is such a good spot for this project is definitely in part due to our jam spaces. Dew Underground has booked some of our home bands like Solids, and local bands such as Misteur Valaire, The Brains, East End Radicals and Bear Mace, which makes the entire experience a lot more engaging.”MtDewSkatePark4

The reviews have been good on all sides. Blogs, Facebook pages and other online forums are littered with positive comments, pictures and videos from riders and musicians alike.

“It’s great that kids have a place like this to come to instead of (skating) in the streets,” U-Haul Cité 2000 Team Member Roger Leblanc said. “It’s a fun place.”

U-Haul has owned Cité 2000, part of U-Haul Company of Eastern Quebec, since 2002. There is the five-story main building as well as a side building, which holds three floors of U-Haul storage units. There are 1,044 storage units on the property.

“Since it’s the first event that we’ve done of this scale, we had our reservations as to how it could impact our other tenants,” Lafréchoux said. “But like everything in life, things found a way to synergize. We have booked a few storage units to other marketing companies since, and we have rented a lot of trucks to people participating in the event. Some of our musicians had the opportunity to go play for the skate park.

“It took a lot of hard work and a little bit of stress to get it done, but we would welcome them back next year.”

The Undrgrnd leaves Montreal after March 4 and moves to Toronto for a four-week stint at a later date. The door is open for the Mt. Dew-sponsored event to return to Cité 2000 in 2016.

U-Haul would like to thank PepsiCo Canada for its cooperation and permission to show many of the photos viewable here.


Did you take part in the fun at the Undrgrnd? What did you think of the venue and would you like to see it return to Cité 2000 next year? Please let us know your thoughts.

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