Fontain with a poem by Marie Laberge on one side. The base of the fountain lies in a circular granite basin. The fountain features sixteen frogs and four statues around the octogonal pedestal holding the bowl, which is decorated with fishes each of its eight sides. The water is projected upwards by the frogs.
WATER FROM THE BIRTH OF TIME
WATER FROM THE DEEPEST DEPTHS OF EARTH
FROM THE CRESTS OF AGE-OLD GLACIERS,
THE WATERS OF OUR RIVERS, GREAT AND SMALL
HAVE CARVED OUT OUR COUNTRY.
WE ARE OF THIS PLACE, WE ARE HURON-WENDAT, INNU, CREE, ABENAKI AND ALL OUR BROTHERS
WE ARE FROM FRANCE, FROM SCOTLAND, IRELAND, <1>ENGLAND AND FROM FARTHER STILL.
FOR 400 YEARS,
WATER HAS FLOWED INTO OUR OPEN HANDS
HANDS THAT WILL CARRY QUEBEC
FROM NOW TO TOMORROW.
HERE, PAST MEETS FUTURE,
HERE, THE PRESENT SURGES MIGHTILY.
HERE, QUEBEC ASSERTS ITSELF
LOYAL AND PROUD
STRENGTHENED BY OUR PAST
AND DETERMINED NEVER TO DIE.
MARIE LABERGE, 2008
L'eau venue du fond des temps
Du tréfonds de la terre du sommet des glaciers millénaires L’eau du fleuve et des rivières Forge notre pays
Nous sommes d’ici, Hurons-Wendat, Innus, Cris, Abénaquis et tous nos frères,
Nous sommes en France, d’Écosse, d’Irlande, d’Angleterre et de plus loin encore
Depuis 400 ans,
L’eau coule dans nos mains ouvertes
Ces mains qui porteront le Québec
D’aujourd’hui à demain.
Ici, le passé croise l’avenir,
Ici, le présent jaillit puissament
Ici, le Québec s’affirme
Loyal et fier Fort d’hier
Courageux pour toujours
Et déterminé à ne pas mourir.
Marie Laberge, 2008
The fountain dates back to the mid-19th century. Commissioned by the mayor of Bordeaux, France, to celebrate the arrival of running water in the city, the fountain and five others like it would stand at both ends of the Allée de Tourney up until the 1960s. Produced in the famous Barbezat art foundry, the Fontaine de Tourny was designed by sculptor Mathurin Moreau, who won gold for his work at the Paris World Fair in 1855. The ornaments evoke the imaginary world of the sea. The fountain is being presented by La Maison Simons as a gift to Quebec City for its 400th anniversary.
Five similar fountains can be found in Europe, in the cities of Porto, Angers, Soulac, Saint-Quentin and Geneva. The mechanical room is located below ground level and contains the control panels. Five pumps feed the fountain with a flow of 100 litres per second (1,600 gallons per minute). The fountain works with a continuous flow of water; additional water is pumped only to compensate evaporated losses. An anemometer (a camera hooked to a pole located near the fountain) measures the speed of time and allows for the adjustment of the jets according to wind forces in order to avoid splashing passers-by and the formation of ice on the pavement. The fountain is active from May to October.