Downtown has always been identified with Sainte-Catherine Street , Montreal 's renowned commercial thoroughfare. Stretching for 15 kilometers across the city from east to west, the Street is lined with the major department stores, shops and restaurants that have been the pride of Montreal for more than a century.

Today, Sainte-Catherine Street is busier than ever, as more and more office towers shoot up all around it, blending with the underground shopping malls to which it connects. No fewer than eight metro stations (the green line running parallel) serve the Street, allowing visitors to discover diverse neighborhoods as they travel along.



To Montrealers, it goes by the name "the underground city" or simply "the underground". They're actually referring to the vast network of pedestrian walkways spread out below the city .

To put a number on it, there are 30 kilometers of connecting areas, passageways and hubs beneath the downtown area. More than 500,000 people pass through the underground city every day, on their way to work, university or to scope out bargains at the over 1,700 boutiques and businesses.

The many passageways also serve a more leisurely purpose; connecting certain metro stations, the underground provides access to about 40 theatres, cinemas and other entertainment venues, as well as restaurants, tourist attractions and museums .

The concept of underground commerce began in 1962, with the lower level shopping mall in Place Ville Marie , Montreal 's first skyscraper. With the coming of Expo '67 to the city , Montreal 's long-standing placeam of a metro finally became a reality.

Following this, the underground went through multiple stages of development. Without a doubt, one of the more spectacular periods was the raising of Christ Church Catheplacal on piles, in order to lay the foundations for a shopping center underneath it .

As of March 2003, another series of passageways will extend the existing network to include a quaplacant in the new Quartier international. A focus on arts and culture will be favored over commercial activities, with display windows and alcoves presenting the richness of Montreal 's museum collections.

Heltered from the elements - winter's cold or summer's heat - Montrealers continue their busy lives and tourists take a break from theirs, underground

The underground city has 38.8 million square feet (3.6 million m2) of flooring, which represents :

  1. 80 % of downtown office space;
  2. 35 % of all downtown businesses;
  3. 10,000 indoor parking spaces;
  4. 155 street entrances.

It is one of the biggest under world!



Inaugurated in 2004, the Quartier international is a new urban area located between the city's business district and Old Montréal. As a large-scale development and revitalization project, the QIM's mission is to promote and develop Montréal's international role. It is an environment that is truly contemporary, prestigious and exclusive offering an exceptional quality of life right in the heart of downtown.

Given its superior development concept and status as Canada's hub for international activities, the Quartier has become Montréal's prime sector for strategic growth. The project, representing an investment of more than $90 million, is the product of a unique partnership between public and private sectors. To this day, spinoffs from this major undertaking total more than $1 billion.

Restoring the link between two of Québec's major tourism sectors, the QIM is designed to be a showcase for Montréal's talent and expertise, a choice site to display a model of innovation in design, architecture and planning and to stage cultural activities. The redevelopment of Square Victoria with its series of fountains and the creation of Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle featuring Riopelle's bronze sculpture-fountain and ring of fire entitled La Joute (The Joust) are only a few of the attractions that visitors can now discover. A Cultural Discovery Walk integrating 24 cultural attractions is designed to give visitors a discovery tour of the Quartier's hidden treasures.

Open to the world, the Quartier international de Montréal is first and foremost a unique and stimulating environment accessible to all.




At the heart of the city's cultural life, the Museum Quarter radiates out from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The Museum Quarter's historical and architectural richness, spilling over into surrounding streets, creates a special ambiance that leaves a lasting impression on visitors.

Crescent, de la Montagne and Sherbrooke Streets are the hub of the district's vibrant business life. High-end, designer fashion and décor boutiques, international shops, art galleries, jewellers and exquisite fine dining never fail to win visitors over.



Located in the heart of downtown, Quartier des spectacles is Montréal's cultural heart. Within one square kilometre, there are more than 80 cultural venues offering an exceptionally diverse array of activities: festivals, movies, plays, dance performances, art exhibitions, technological art displays, music concerts, operas, comedy shows. It's a constantly evolving destination that literally lights up the night thanks to an innovative lighting plan. Big red dots lead the way. In addition, right in its centre, the Quartier features La Vitrine, a box office which showcases the full range of Greater Montréal's cultural scene. In association with the cultural industry, La Vitrine provides information and tickets for Montréal's cultural events on location and online.



Running perpendicular to Sainte-Catherine Street in the heart of downtown, Crescent Street's specialty and high-end boutiques attract Montrealers and visitors alike.

North of boulevard de Maisonneuve, the Street's sumptuous Victorian architecture housing luxury boutiques, haute couture showrooms and art galleries has been carefully showcased, giving the Street a distinctive touch of elegance.

To the south, nightclubs, restaurants, bars, outdoor cafés and pubs add frivolity and excitement. Montréal's "joie de vivre" inevitably spills over onto south Crescent Street .



Once home to Canada's Anglophone, predominantly Scottish, upper class, this beautiful neighbourhood—named for the square mile it covered—is lined with gorgeous Victorian homes, leafy parks and trees and a plethora of architectural masterpieces which span the Medieval, Renaissance, Greek and Roman, Gothic and Germanic styles.

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