Notre-Dame and Griffintown: 1930-2010

Notre Dame St West, circa 1930-2010 What happened here ? This used to be the north end of Griffintown, right next to the business center of Montreal. À Montréal, au cours des années 1950 et 1960, notamment suite au rapport Dozois, on identifie des dizaines de quartiers qualifiés d’insalubres, vus comme irrécupérables, et où les […]

Posted in: Architecture, Canada, History by Daniel Corbeil Comments Off on Notre-Dame and Griffintown: 1930-2010 , , , ,

An Elegy for Griffintown

[youtube]XqxurfvV5bM[/youtube] There’s something remarkably honest about the United Steel Workers of Montreal. Far from being a contrivance, their country and bluegrass music feels earnest and appropriate, and nowhere is that more obvious than in the new video for their song “Émile Bertrand.” This elegy for the lost working-class life of Montreal’s southwest is named in […]

Posted in: Uncategorized by Christopher DeWolf 1 Comment

Village Griffintown: We Have Questions

As a resident of Sud-Ouest — right where Griffintown, Little Burgundy and Point St-Charles intersect, actually — I was surprised by the scope and scale of the Village Griffintown project announced yesterday for a long-neglected neighbourhood in southwestern Montreal. It’s not at all what we were expecting, and while we welcome redevelopment, and the proposed […]

What Will Become of Griffintown?

Recently, Quebec developer Devimco partnered with Toronto-based RioCan to build the suburban Dix30 “lifestyle centre,” a drive-in power-centre big-box shopping mall located in a greenfield development at the intersections of Highways 10 and 30 on the South Shore. Devimco is now working with the City of Montreal to push through a similar $1B development right […]

Posted in: Canada by A.J. Kandy 6 Comments , ,

Take Me Back to Griffintown

Griffintown is one of my favourite neighbourhoods to explore: the grime of history coats its buildings, past lives lurk in shadowy corners. Its quiet streets contain the treasures of industrial ruins and a community lost; they are the perfect place for a lonely nighttime stroll. I’m not alone. Long-neglected Griffintown has become the darling of […]

Slated for Demolition: A Block In Griffintown

As part of the École de Technologie Supérieur’s planned Phase III expansion, the college acquired several underused or empty lots in the quadrangle between Notre-Dame, Peel, Mountain and Ottawa streets. Just recently, demolition notices appeared on two buildings on the south side of Notre-Dame; there’d been an UQAM-logoed sign advising people not to park on […]

Vive la crise!

Montreal doesn’t seem to have been hit terribly hard by this latest crise économique, maybe because it has spent most of the recent past recovering from a string of much more substantial crises. At the very least, it has given us a break from the excesses of the previous years, a time to reflect on […]


Railroad viaduct, Griffintown Highway 40, Villeray

Posted in: Canada, Transportation by Kate McDonnell Comments Off on Underneath , , ,

New Life for a Garment District

Earlier this year, Helen Fotopulos, mayor of the Plateau Mont-Royal borough, stood beaming over a podium as she announced plans to revitalize the old garment district on the eastern edge of Mile End, bounded on the west by St. Laurent, on the east by Henri-Julien, on the south by Maguire and on the north by […]

Posted in: Canada, Heritage and Preservation, Politics by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on New Life for a Garment District , , ,

Lower Town

On a quiet, cold weekend in Griffintown, the looming skyscrapers of downtown can seem like an illusion, so incongruous a backdrop do they make to the empty streets and dormant industry.

Posted in: Canada by Christopher DeWolf Comments Off on Lower Town ,

An Echo of the Hagia Sophia

Over the years I’ve heard people surmise it to be a temple, a mosque, an Orthodox church, even a synagogue. Familiar sight though it is in central Montreal, the first thing the huge domed building at Saint-Urbain and Saint-Viateur brings to mind is not the Roman Catholic church. At the turn of the last century […]

Imperial Pedigree

Peel Street, Montreal I had travelled more than 15,000 kilometres only to stand, once again, at the corner of Peel and Wellington. Of course, it wasn’t the same Peel and Wellington as back home — with a shared colonial past, it shouldn’t be surprising to find some similar street names in both Montreal and Hong […]

Posted in: Art and Design, Canada, History by Christopher DeWolf 1 Comment , ,

Less is More: New Public Spaces

Movable tables and chairs in a plaza at Broadway and 66th, New York Montreal is in the midst of a great public space building boom. Plenty of new squares, plazas and open spaces have been created over the past six or seven years, most notably in the Quartier international, but also throughout the city. With […]

Posted in: Canada, Public Space, United States by Christopher DeWolf 3 Comments , ,

Montreal and its Suburbs… in 1843

Way back in 1843, Montreal, population 50,000, was big enough to have six whole suburbs to its name. On the west, there was the Recollet Suburb, St. Ann’s Suburb, St. Joseph’s Suburb and the St. Antoine Suburb. On the north, the St. Lawrence Suburb followed the path of St. Lawrence Street, already the city’s main […]