Center of Montreal

A while back I read about a recent trend among city weblogs like this one searching out what Google Maps considers the center of their city. So I checked what Google Maps kicked out for Montreal and came up with this answer.

GoogMapMontreal1.jpg

At first I thought it is far from where anyone would consider the ‘center’ of Montreal. Then the other night in the Metro I saw a map of the island of Montreal and it looks to be close to the geographic center. But I was curious what some other map sites would produce. Mapquest kicks out this location.

MapquestMontreal1.jpg

Not a place of any particular importance (I think), but closer to downtown and Mont Royal. I also checked out Maporama.

MaporamaMontreal1.jpg

They put it squarely on City Hall which seems the most logical of the three.

So it leads to my question. What do you feel is the center of Montreal? It is a geographic location, a symbolic location, or a personal location. Downtown, Mont Royal, Old Montreal. McGill College, The Main, Celine’s Home. The neighborhood you grew up in, lovers lane, or your favorite hang-out.

Personnally, I have to say Berri-UQAM. I know “Are you kidding? A metro station?” Well back during my first visits to Montreal staying on the south shore, it was my portal to the city. Every trip passed through that station. Today, I can also say it is quite a pivotal place. The Main, St Denis, and the Plateau are to the north. Downtown and Mont Royal to the west. Old Montreal, the Old Port, and the Expo 67 islands to the south. And I now spend my days to the east. Plus it is located on the campus of one of the many universities for which Montreal is renowned.

So where do you consider to be the center of Montreal?

7 Comments so far

  1. Michel Donais (unregistered) on April 3rd, 2006 @ 6:25 am

    I would have to say the Eaton is probably the most logical choice for me, at least practically. You have things on the North (McGill U), to the South (the old city), to the East (Berri UQAM), to the West (Old Forum), all in walking distance. You are also in the centre of the underground. Best of all, most of it is at walking distance, only thing too far for most people being the Gay district and Mont-Royal street.

    The second logical choice is St-Laurent and Sherbrooke. Although not close to anything, St-Laurent is the 1 East West, and Sherbrooke is on top of the hill (so you can go downhill everywhere for downtown) while having Mont-Royal street very accessible to you. Besides, there are a lot of nice bars everywhere and it’s close to Yulblogs meetings ;)

    My last logical choice is the mountain itself, Mont Royal is very close to everything and gives a real whole-island feeling. It opens its arms to either St-Laurent, Westmount, Outremont, Mont-Royal or downtown, which is more encompassing than anything else, so I’d have to pinpoint it on the Lac des Castors.


  2. andre (unregistered) on April 3rd, 2006 @ 6:34 am

    I’d say the logical place would be the corner of its two most famous streets, St-Laurent and Sainte Catherine.


  3. blork (unregistered) on April 3rd, 2006 @ 10:01 am

    Historically, I think people have referred to the corner of Ste. Catherine and Peel as the center of Montreal, or at least the “heart” of Montreal.


  4. Christelle (unregistered) on April 3rd, 2006 @ 10:24 am

    Downtown… Ste-Catherine… From Atwater to St-Laurent…!

    Or the Mountain in the middle.

    I don’t know… It’s a really neat question!


  5. monkey (unregistered) on April 3rd, 2006 @ 12:26 pm

    i know it sounds silly, but i would go with Pointe-à-Callière, the birthplace of Montreal, where the original Mont-Royal village was founded.

    Plus, it isn’t far from high-rising downtown buildings.


  6. long (unregistered) on April 3rd, 2006 @ 3:32 pm

    I’d go with Place Ville-Marie. When Montreal was being advertised to the world, that tower, which was then the tallest, was on every Montreal ad. And that’s where the Underground Montreal was born.


  7. Luke (unregistered) on April 6th, 2006 @ 10:15 am

    The whole Sainte Catherine/McGill College Ave area with PVM would get my vote.



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