MONTREAL NEIGHBORHOODS 101: MILE END

Posted on May 11th, 2010 by .

Mile End is a stylish, yet casual Montréal neighborhood. It’s also a dynamic community that could be used as a metaphor for our human possibility. That’s deep, no?

Allow me to explain.

Mile End is a district where people live together in harmony: Greek immigrants, Hasidic Jews and artsy hipsters coexist in one neighborly mélange of harmonious potential. I don’t want to toot our Montréal horn, but if we could use this as a template for all neighborhoods across the world, we would have a pretty darn hip and peaceful globe.

Spin, Pitchfork and The New York Times have all gushed about Mile End as the hotbed of Montréal indie music, cultural diversity and all things cool. In this ‘hood you’ll find relaxed cafés, designer boutiques, inspiring art, video game developers and arguably the best darn bagels in the world (check out this sweet deal for free bagels!).

The origins of the name “Mile End” are disputed. However many people believe that it is derived from the one-mile distance of the neighborhood’s south boundary (Mont Royal Ave) from Sherbrooke Street, which is one of Montréal’s most important streets. But despite the unconfirmed source of the name, it’s unanimously accepted that Mile End is Montréal’s hippest neighborhood.

Give yourself a day to explore Mile End.

Photo by Michel Gagnon

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THE BEST OF MILE END

[coffee] Café Olympico – Café au lait and relaxed patio-lovin’ people.

[books] Drawn & Quarterly – Stellar bookstore featuring many locally produced stories, graphic novels and indie comics.

[drinks] Assommoir – Great drinks. Chill music. Delicious tapas.

[bagels] St. Viateur and Fairmount – Boiled in honey water, then baked in wood-burning ovens, the Mile End bagel is world famous.

[brunch] Sparrow – Casual, yet classy. Get there early to avoid a line.

[thrift shop] Local 23 & General 54 – Emergent, crafty local designers mixed with previously loved vintage treasures.

[local designer] BODYBAG by Jude – One of a kind, Montréal made, designer items.

[live music] Le Café Dépanneur or Casa del Popolo – Start at “Le Café Dépanneur” in the afternoon, and move to Casa del Popolo in the evening. Cheap eats at both locations.

[wine bar] Buvette Chez Simone – Always buzzing with locals, this is a great place for vino, some local cheeses and a glowing ambience.

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THE DETAILS

Mile End Boundaries (arguable)

South: Mont Royal Avenue
North: Van Horne Avenue
East: Saint Laurent Boulevard
West: Durocher Avenue

montreal neighborhood

Insider Info: The streets of Montréal don’t actually run north/south or east/west. The urban grid is about 45 degrees off its axis.  Montréalers consider the river to flow from west to east, thus when you’re looking at a map, all roads running parallel to the river are considered west/east and all roads running perpendicular are considered north/south. Clear? Click on the map for a visual of this unique Montréal phenomenon.

Public Transit Access

Metro: Laurier or Rosemont Stations
Bus: #80

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Have a favorite Mile End haunt that I’ve missed? Leave us a comment and let us know.

Comments

  1. shagetz

    / Dec 31st

    Your western boundary is incorrect – the western border of the Plateau is Hutchison. North of Saint Joseph the Plateau includes the street and both sidewalks but not the houses on the west side of the street, south of Saint Joseph it is both sides of the street including houses. I used to live on the northwest corner of Hutchison & Saint Joe, we had an Outremont mailing address.

  2. srm

    / May 12th

    There are 2 plateau’s
    check out your history of Montreal …

    Le Plateau has a core from Sherbrooke to Mount Royal and from Saint Denis to de Lormier.

    Everyone tries to expand the territory because it’s a hip to live in.

    There is also the arrondissement du Plateau Mont Royal which is now a Montreal district; not Le Plateau.

    Anyways does it really matter

  3. Mark ford

    / Aug 17th

    Really interesting reading about Mile End. My father was born in the district In 1918, living at 86 Fairmount Avenue and was baptised at the church of the ascension, now the library. But his family returned to Leeds UK in 1933 after their mothers death. Anyone know if I can find any census/death records for the area on the web.

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