72 Hours in Montréal
The Neighborhoods of Montréal
Downtown Montréal, also known as Centre-Ville, is home to The Golden Square Mile that contains many luxury homes, shops, and high-rises as well as corporate centers. Close by is Old Montréal and Vieux-Port (Old Port). A step back in time with its historic buildings and cobblestone streets, this area is also known for its outdoor cafés, art galleries, shops, and street performers.
Just outside downtown is “The Plateau” where many locals live to be away from the fast pace of the city, but close enough to enjoy all Montréal has to offer. Of course, there’s Olympic Park, a remnant of the 1976 Olympics; Mile End, an enclave of artists and filmmakers; The Village, one of North America’s largest gay and lesbian communities; Little Italy; and Quartier Latin, much like Paris with its student and Bohemian residents. In winter, and the heat of summer, The Underground City comes alive. These are just a few of the neighborhoods of Montréal. Each area provides a unique look at the people, culture, and food that has emerged from different ethnic, religious, and social influences.
Take a ride just 20 minutes from The Golden Square Mile to The Plateau. You’ll notice many of the homes in Montréal have outdoor staircases rising two and three stories outside of the house or apartment. This originated in the 19th century when people moved into the cities. The staircases were built outside the home to optimize space and avoid heating a staircase. It also allowed for easy access to their gardens. Beautiful tree-lined streets and rows of shops and markets give several neighborhoods on The Plateau a suburban feel.
Smell the flavors of the local restaurants, coffeehouses, and artisan shops. Each neighborhood has its own popular foods and each is nearly self-sufficient, especially with a trip to one of the impressive large food markets each week.