The Westmount Market: Area Communities
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Centre-ville/Ville Marie

Population: 78,876

Size: 14.49 km2

Downtown Montreal is the city's business, cultural and entertainment district, but it is also home to thousands of property owners. Situated between Mount Royal and the St-Lawrence River, downtown Montreal can be accessed by any number of buses, metros and commuter trains, and is also close to the main highway arteries. It is known for its underground city which spans several kilometres underneath the downtown core.

Downtown Montreal

Downtown Montreal lies at the foot of Mount Royal, most of which is a major urban park, and extends toward the St. Lawrence River. It is located entirely within the Ville Marie borough. The Downtown area contains dozens of notable skyscrapers — which bylaws restrict to the height of Mount Royal — including the aforementioned 1000 de La Gauchetière and 1250 René-Lévesque.[3] The Tour de la Bourse (Stock Exchange Tower) is also another significant building in Montreal, and is home to the Montreal Exchange, which trades in derivatives such as futures contracts and options. The Montreal Exchange was the first stock exchange in Canada.[4] In 1999 all stock trades were transferred to Toronto in exchange for exclusivity in derivatives trading.[5]

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 at 32 kilometres (20 mi) in length.[6] The underground city gives its 500,000 daily visitors indoor access to 2,000 stores, 200 restaurants, 1,200 offices, 1,600 housing units, 10 metro stations, train stations, bus terminals, and tunnels extending all over downtown.[6] The central axis for downtown is Saint Catherine Street, the city's busiest commercial artery.[7] Other major streets include SherbrookeRené Lévesque BoulevardPeelMountain StreetDe Maisonneuve Boulevard and Crescent Street.

Old Montreal[edit]

Main article: Old Montreal

Old Montreal (French: Vieux-Montréal) is a historic area located southeast of downtown containing many different attractions such as the Old Port of MontrealPlace Jacques-CartierMontreal City Hall, the Bonsecours Market, Place d'Armes, Pointe-à-Callière Museum, the Notre-Dame de Montréal Basilica, and the Montreal Science Centre.

Architecture and cobbled streets in Old Montreal have been maintained or restored and are frequented by horse-drawn calèches carrying tourists. Old Montreal is accessible from the downtown core via the underground city and is served by several STM bus routes and metro stations, ferries to the South Shore and a network of bicycle paths.

The riverside area adjacent to Old Montreal is known as the Old Port. The Old Port was the former site of the worldwide Port of Montreal, but its shipping operations have been moved further east to its current larger site, leaving the former location as a recreational and historical area maintained by Parks Canada. The new Port of Montreal is now Canada's largest container port and the largest inland port on Earth.[8]


Main article: Chinatown, Montreal
Chinatown in Montreal

Montreal has a small but active Chinatown just south of downtown, featuring many Chinese shops and restaurants, as well as a number of Vietnamese establishments. Several of these restaurants offer dim sum from as early as 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and can be quite crowded, especially on Sundays. The principal axes of Chinatown are Saint Laurent Boulevard and La Gauchetière Street.

Gay Village[edit]

Main article: Gay Village, Montreal

Montreal is known as a gay-friendly city. Its pride festival, Divers/Cité, is claimed to be one of the largest in North America; organizers estimate that it in 2002. It benefits from financial support from all three levels of government. Montreal is home to one of the largest gay villages in the world. Gay Village (known in French as le Village gai) is centred on the downtown Beaudry metro station. Montreal is a centre of Queer life and culture in Canada and hosts several circuit parties every year. As the local gay publication is in French, an alternative for English visitors is with details about Montreal's gay community in English. The 2006 World Outgames were held in Montreal. The 2001 census recorded that 6.3% of couples in the city were same-sex, the fourth highest percentage for cities in Canada.[9] 

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