On a Bixi bike excursion to get some ice cream in Montreal, we stumbled upon a very unique and beautiful intersection (Fairmount Avenue & Rue Clark) with recently-installed, colorful street furniture, traffic calming, a two-way protected bike lane and a constant presence of street life.
To call this nirvana would be going too far of course, but it's a prime example of how a neighborhood street should cater to all users. Making pedestrians feel welcome and providing art and greenery wherever possible should always be strived for in the public realm, and slowing speeds with neck downs is becoming a common tool. When you arrive at this lovely intersection your first instinct is to stop, sit down, and enjoy.
Since we were only there for a short time, and further online investigation has not yielded any substantial information on this project (it's likely some information is only in French) the backstory of how all this happened is still a mystery. it'd be great if anyone out there reading this could provide more info in the comments below. Thank you.