From its very beginnings, Mont-Royal Avenue has embodied the spirit of Montréal’s trendiest cultural scene, Plateau Mont-Royal. It is the favorite stomping grounds of world famous author Michel Tremblay and holds an honored place in the history of Montréal. For a century and a half, Mont-Royal Avenue has traversed through De Lorimier village and the hamlet of Coteau-Saint-Louis, serving as the centre of daily activity for the people that lived there. We invite you to enjoy an evolutionary timeline of this great Avenue.
1889.The street is home to nine houses, spread between present-day St-Denis and Papineau streets. Residents include the Louis Lapierre dairy, the Joseph Hétu shoe repair shop, labourer Jérémie Hétu, cart-maker Joseph Germain, Prudent Saint-Pierre dairy, and the home of Jean-Louis Barré, the place where the Fathers of Très-St-Sacrement resided in 1890
In the summer of 1910, the Avenue is paved, sidewalks are built, and lampposts are installed. New businesses including two banks open to the east of Papineau street.
1920.The reign of department stores begins. Woolworths and Métropolitain set up between Garnier and Papineau.
1941.Mont-Royal merchants, intent on fulfilling the needs of an ever-increasing clientele, hold a "Festival of Commerce", whose theme is to “stimulate commercial progress on Mont-Royal Avenue.” The festival attracts 100,000 spectators, and the Avenue is booming even during the closing years of the Great Depression.
1950.The Avenue experiences a period of prosperity that rivals that of Sainte-Catherine street.
1959.The Avenue is closed to traffic for five months because of repairs being made to natural gas lines. The Avenue pays a heavy price for these renovations. Clients abandon the area, and the Avenue loses prestige.
The 60s and 70s are unkind to Mont-Royal merchants. Business stagnates. The Avenue’s former glory sinks as people moved to the suburbs and frequent the shopping centres.
The 80s.The Plateau’s demography changes. The new residents are young and educated. The Avenue and surrounding area become “trendy.” It offers a neighbourhood atmosphere smack dab in the city centre. It’s calm and friendly, just like its residents. What’s more, just about everything can be found near at hand.
1992.The Avenue embarks on a long-term revitalization program. Many merchants renovate their stores, inside and out, breathing a breath of fresh air into the Avenue. It is more appealing, welcoming, and stands as one of the fairest Avenues in the province.
The Avenue is firmly established as a trendy and an up-and-coming area, thanks to its involvement in the neighbourhood’s art scene, economic growth, and community activities. It is home to 300 merchants and professionals who serve a variety of life’s pleasures, fashion, and fine food to a vast clientele.
Photo : Ville de Montréal. Gestion des documents et archives.