Heritage Montreal has launched a new series of springtime walking tours for people to rediscover parts of Montreal.

From heritage buildings to modernist architecture in the heart of the city, some locations may surprise those wanting to explore downtown differently with a guided tour of cultural landmarks.

"The idea was that, during the Jean-Drapeau government in the 1950s, we wanted to put Montreal on the map, and in so doing they ended up looking at certain areas that they could demolist and rebuild with these huge modern projects," said architect Alex Venditti.

Modernist building in Montreal

Modern projects meant major construction sites like the Complexe Desjardins - a three-hectare project built in the "brutalist" style.

"It's one of the earlier, large, mega-projects that was part of the revitalization movement, which, unfortunately, saw the demolition of residences that were on the site," said Venditti.

The site became a centralized hub connected at ground-level and to the "underground city."

"They wanted to have this commercial, economic, institutional, also, a hotel hub right in the centre of the new mega-park of the city," the architect added.

Montreal construction in the 1950s

The tours will also explore entertainment venues along the Main near Ste. Catherine Street.

"We're going to go look at the French-language theatres from the late 19th Century, also, the influences of the red-light district," said Veronika Brandl-Mouton of Heritage MTL.

For more information on the tours can be found on Heritage Montreal's site

Construction of Desjardins buildings in Montreal