A bit of history

7 April 2017

Since 1671 the seigneuries, and the farms of the French families who lived “Outside the Walls", sketch the path of what will eventually become Saint-Denis street. After the French Regime, the Viger and Papineau families gave this essential gateway between the old Ville-Marie and the Mount Royal plateau. Quickly the French Canadian bourgeoisie settled there, giving this part of downtown all its flavour. There also, in 1895, the Laval University opened its first pavilion in the metropolis: it was the birth of the University of Montréal. This crossroads of knowledge will give a new face, and a new nickname to the area: the Quartier Latin. The name is still valid today since UQAM also elected to settle in the same spot as its predecessor, at the end of the 1960's.

The Montréal terraces were born there. The mix of institutions and schools allow for an interesting mix of neckties and jeans; pizza and sushi; Highland Malt and flammenkuche; manga and tea den. Everything overlaps on top of Montréal's main métro station: Berri-UQAM.

The Quartier latin quickly became synonymous with Joie de Vivre, which is appealing in english as it is in french.

Add to the mix one ounce of Théâtre Saint-Denis, three grams of Cinématheque québécoise, National Film Board, and Cineplex Odeon, mix with the Just for Laughs festival, and let to marinate...

More than ever, rue Saint-Denis is the indispensable pedestrian link, the spine that unites in the best possible way the Plateau and Old Montréal.