Rue Sainte-Catherine

Except during the very early morning hours, motion never seemed to cease on Rue Sainte-Catherine. Other streets emptied as Montrealers disappeared into the underground city to avoid the cold, but on Sainte-Catherine people hurried about unphased by the weather and wind as they went about their business. In my wanderings I saw women smoking cigars, teens sharing loud stories, cyclists ploughing through snow drifts and yelling at cars in French, eclectic sex shops, and lots of tourists. During my last few hours in Montreal I wandered around a very packed Sainte-Catherine (both above ground and below ground) to absorb its energy before boarding a flight back to Calgary.

Sainte-Catherine is Montreal’s primary commercial and shopping district. It’s also on the back step of Concordia University, McGill University, and Université du Québec à Montréal. For this reason students flock to coffee shops, stores and eclectic destinations to absorb Montreal’s “cool”.

I couldn’t find much about the history of Sainte-Catherine, other than it seems like it’s always been in Montreal; and, it’s rumoured to have been originally named Sainte-Jacques. The street is home to numerous character churches, buildings, old residences (converted into businesses), and houses the well known Gay Village on the east end of downtown.

If anyone knows more history about Rue Sainte-Catherine feel free to add it to the comments.

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