McGill College Avenue


In my post extolling the virtues of Quebec City’s Honoré-Mercier Avenue, Patrick Donovan suggested that McGill College Avenue in Montreal ought to be considered a good boulevard too, and I agree. Too narrow to serve as much of a barrier and just short enough to avoid feeling pointless, it is most remarkable, in my view, for its amazing sightlines. Looking north up the avenue from the esplanade of Place Ville Marie, there is a tremendous view of McGill University and Mount Royal; looking south, from McGill, is an impressive canyon of office towers. Along the way are cafés, benches and, in the summer, an annual photography exhibit. My only qualm is the preponderance of humdrum postmodern architecture — but hey, this is Canada: we can settle for less.

This entry was written by Christopher DeWolf , posted on Saturday June 14 2008at 11:06 pm , filed under Architecture, Canada, Public Space and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

2 Responses to “McGill College Avenue”

  • Julie says:

    The architecture may be lacking – but the view of some of the old McGill buildings partially compensates for that fact. It also doesn’t have a shortage of public art for a street of its length: “La Foule illuminée”, the people are the park bench on the West side near Pres. Kennedy, and the headless woman at the fountain at Place Ville Marie. In addition, it’s home to may sidewalk artists that display some of Montreal’s beautiful architecture from other areas of the city. None of these things, granted, make up for the fact that 2200 President Kennedy (the corner building that houses Second Cup) perhaps doesn’t live up to its architectural potential as a corner building, but I feel that Donovan’s suggestion of McGill College as a good boulevard is not amiss. It is perhaps one of my favourite places in Montreal… any season.

  • Patrick Donovan says:

    And to think they almost blocked it up with their original plans for a mega Place Montreal Trust in the eighties.