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Downtown Montreal

Downtown Montreal
Centre-Ville de Montréal
Downtown Montreal is located in Montreal
Downtown Montreal
Location of Downtown Montreal
Country Canada
Province Quebec
City Montreal
Borough Ville-Marie
 • Total  ha ( acres)
Elevation 20M-234M, 65Ft-767Ft m ( ft)
Population (2015 guess- 94,000)
 • Total 84,013 2,011
  600,000+ daytime population (2011)
A view of McGill College Avenue in December.

Downtown Montreal is the central business district of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Located in the borough of Ville-Marie, the district is situated on the southernmost slope of Mount Royal. According to the strictest definition, it is bounded by Sherbrooke Street to the north, Saint Hubert Street to the east, Guy Street to the west, and Notre-Dame Street to the south. Wider definitions may extend to Atwater Street to the west, Papineau Avenue to the east, and Avenue des Pins to the north.

The downtown region houses many corporate headquarters as well a large majority of the city's skyscrapers — which, by law, cannot be greater in height than Mount Royal in order to preserve the aesthetic predominance and intimidation factor of the mountain. The two tallest of these are the 1000 de La Gauchetière and 1250 René-Lévesque, both of which were built in 1992. The Tour de la Bourse is also a significant high-rise and is home to the Montreal Exchange that trades in derivatives. The Montreal Exchange was originally a stock exchange and was the first in Canada. In 1999, all stock trades were transferred to Toronto in exchange for an exclusivity in the derivative trading market.

Place Ville-Marie, an I. M. Pei-designed cruciform office tower built in 1962, sits atop an underground shopping mall that forms the nexus of Montreal's underground city, the world's largest, with indoor access to over 1,600 shops, restaurants, offices, businesses, museums and universities, as well as metro stations, train stations, bus terminals, and tunnels extending all over downtown. The central axis for downtown is Saint Catherine Street, Canada's busiest commercial avenue. The area includes high end retail such as the Holt Renfrew and Ogilvy department stores as well as Les Cours Mont-Royal shopping centre. Other major streets include Sherbrooke Street, Peel, de la Montagne, de Maisonneuve and Crescent.

The skyline may be observed from one of two lookouts on Mount Royal. The lookout at the Belvedere takes in downtown, the river, and the Monteregian Hills. On clear days the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York are visible, as are the Green Mountains of Vermont. The eastern lookout has a view of The Plateau neighbourhood, Olympic Stadium and beyond.

Downtown Montreal is also home to the main campuses of Concordia University.[1][2]

Downtown of Montreal, seen from McGill University


  • Future projects 1
  • Attractions 2
    • Education 2.1
    • Sports and entertainment venues 2.2
    • Museums 2.3
    • Transportation 2.4
    • Religious buildings 2.5
    • Squares 2.6
  • Economy 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5

Future projects

  • Construction of the 50-floor, 175m meter tall L'Avenue residential tower started in 2013, right in front of the Bell Centre. The tower will be completed in 2016.
  • Construction of the 50-floor, 167 meter tall Tour des Canadiens started in 2013, right beside the Bell Centre. The tower will be completed in 2016.
  • Construction of the 40-floor, 147 meter tall Roccabella towers started in 2013. The first tower will be completed in 2016.
  • Construction of the 39-floor, 146 meter tall Icône tower has started in 2013. The tower will be completed in 2016.
  • YUL Condos, 2X 38 floor, 120 Metres, phase 3 townhouses (2017 first tower)
  • Holiday Inn, 37 floors, 120 metres (2016)
  • Tom condos, 42 floors, 122 Metres (2017)
  • Quad Windsor (new downtown neighbourhood to finish within 10-15 years, includes Tour des Canadiens (TDC) 2-3 (or 2,3,4) 750 Peel (2 office towers) and 600 Peel (3 condo towers, townhouses, etc.)
  • other proposals from PPU District stations/du Quartier des gares
  • proposed 120 Metre maison alcan tower (office tower of nearly 950,000 sq.ft)
  • Ilot Balmoral, 13 floors, place des arts (headquarters for national Canadian film board)
  • drummond towers (24.22 floor, 80M and 60M, eventually will get built)
  • 444 de maisonneauve ouest, 11 floors
  • AC hotels 110 or 120M hotel, 2017
  • other approved/proposed towers (soon)



Portions of four university-level establishments lie within Downtown Montreal: the main campus of Concordia University in an area identified as Quartier Concordia in the western part of Downtown Montreal; École de technologie supérieure (a part of Université de Montréal) located near the southern edge of Downtown Montreal; and Université du Québec à Montréal, mainly in the Quartier Latin neighbourhood. Four colleges (pre-university) also lie in downtown: the public Cégep du Vieux Montréal on Ontario Street East; and the private colleges LaSalle College, O'Sullivan College and National Theatre School of Canada, including Monument-National, the venue used for its productions.

Sports and entertainment venues

The Bell Centre, used for ice hockey and other events, lies in the central/southern portion of Downtown Montreal. Place des Arts is located in the eastern part of the city's downtown, between Ste-Catherine and de Maisonneuve Streets, and St-Urbain and Jeanne-Mance streets, in an area now known as the Quartier des Spectacles, the complex is home to the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, and the Opéra de Montréal. Percival Molson Memorial Stadium lies just to the North of Pine Avenue at the edge of Downtown Montreal.


A number of museums can be found in or near Downtown Montreal, including the Canadian Centre for Architecture, McCord Museum, Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Redpath Museum. Pointe-à-Callière Museum is more strictly in Old Montreal.


Two railway stations are in Downtown Montreal: Central Station serves both intercity (VIA Rail and Amtrak) and commuter (AMT) services. Additional commuter services use Lucien-L'Allier Station. Downtown Montreal also contains two bus stations: Gare d'autocars de Montréal serves mainly longer distance services, while Terminus Centre-Ville is mainly a terminus for services operated by RTL.

Two lines of the Montreal Metro run east/west through Downtown Montreal. Line 1 (Green) is aligned with De Maisonneuve Boulevard, serving (west to east): Atwater, Guy-Concordia, Peel, McGill, Saint-Laurent, Berri-UQAM and Beaudry stations. Line 2 (Orange) runs some blocks south of the Green Line, serving (west to east) Lucien-L'Allier, Bonaventure, Square-Victoria-OACI, Place-d'Armes, Champ-de-Mars, Berri-UQAM and Sherbrooke. Place-d'Armes and Champ-de-Mars stations would usually be considered as in Old Montreal. Berri-UQAM is also the terminus for Line 4 (Yellow).

Religious buildings

Notable religious buildings in Downtown Montreal include: St. Patrick's Basilica.


Public space in Downtown Montreal includes the following squares: Cabot Square, Chaboillez Square, Dorchester Square, Norman Bethune Square, Phillips Square, Place du Canada, Place Émilie-Gamelin, Place des Festivals, Place Jean-Paul Riopelle and Victoria Square.


Air Canada was formerly headquartered in Downtown Montreal. In 1990, the airline announced that it was moving its headquarters from Downtown Montreal to Montreal-Trudeau Airport to cut costs.[3][4]

See also


  1. ^ "Campus Maps", "McGill University". Accessed May 17, 2008.
  2. ^ "Campus map", "Concordia University". Accessed May 17, 2008.
  3. ^ "Air Canada layoffs blamed on free trade." Toronto Star. October 10, 1990. A1. Retrieved on September 23, 2009.
  4. ^ Benzie, Robert. "Tories float Air Canada plan; Ready to lift bilingualism requirement Would 'level playing field,' party says." Toronto Star. June 20, 2004. A07. Retrieved on September 23, 2009.
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