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Bota Bota Spa-on-water
Located at the foot of rue McGill in the Old Port of Montreal, Bota Bota is the new name given to a ferryboat that used to link Sorel and Berthier in the 1950s and that’s been renovated into a floating Scandinavian spa. Built in 1951 and measuring 170 feet and 600 tons, the Arthur Cardin plied the waters between these two cities for 10 years. At Expo 67 in Montreal, it enjoyed a second life as a floating art center thanks to Quebec’s ministère des Affaires culturelles. Renamed L’Escale, it included a theater, foyers spread out along three floors, bars and a restaurant on the bridges, cabins for staff, and dressing rooms for actors. Following an epic christening at Bassin Louise in Quebec City in1967, L’Escale became the world’s first floating art center, travelling around Quebec and leaving inspiration in the heart of visitors in its wake. In 2008 our team was hired to create the architectural designs for the Bota Bota floating spa, providing a third incarnation for the former ferry. Now moored in Montreal’s Old Port after two years of construction work, the spa immerses visitors in a multisensory world directly inspired by the aquatic environment and the rich history of the ship and her surroundings.

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