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Do you know Ville-Marie?

September 6, 2019 Tags: , , , ,

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Besides being the founding site of Montreal, Ville-Marie is an important business and economic center. Sporting an area of 16.5 km2, the borough covers several neighborhoods such as Old Montréal, the Village and the “Quartier des Spectacles”. Ville-Marie has a long story to tell and here are some of the details. Follow the guide!

Old Montréal: economic center and heritage site

Every year, around 6.5 million visitors walk through the picturesque streets of the Old Montreal and the Old Port to admire their historic buildings and the multitude of cultural activities they have to offer. Old Montréal is also an important economic center that records 49,000 trips per day, employs 35,000 people and was home to 7,000 residents in 2015. Designated as a heritage site in 1964, the area has experienced a major revitalization in recent years and many real estate projects are still in progress.

A distinctive logo

Montreal’s famous red logo was adopted in 1981 and modified in 2003. If you look closely, you will notice that this logo is composed of four cores forming the letters M and V in reference to “Ville de Montréal” or “Ville Marie” (the first French name given to the city). The four cores also give it the shape of a water lily, which is a subtle nod to the fact that Montreal is an island. If you’re looking forward to learn about the subject, you should definitely take part in one of the free guided tours given this summer at City Hall.

The underground in numbers

Commonly known as RESO, the subterranean Montréal links several metro stations, museums and university pavilions. This network was born at the same time as the Place Ville-Marie, back in 1962 and is now used by 500,000 people per day on average. It is also the largest underground complex in the world with 32 kilometers of tunnels! Here is a map of this underground maze: MAP

Rainbows over Ste-Catherine’s St.

If you walk around the Gay Village of Montreal, you will probably find yourself under colored garlands that are now one of the Village’s symbols. It is the work of landscape architect Claude Cormier entitled “18 Shades of Gay”. Highly appreciated by residents and tourists, this installation is composed of 180,000 ornaments of 18 shades of color and stretches over 1 km. The architect has also designed several other sites in Montreal, including Place Dorchester North. Follow this link to see all the installations of Claude Cormier & Associates.


In conclusion, Ville-Marie is an eclectic and dynamic borough rife with history. It is the ideal place to settle in if you like being at the center of cultural activities and festivities. If you are just passing by, do not hesitate to go immerse yourself in the past of Old Montreal through the techno-historical walking tour using the “Montreal en histoiremobile application.



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