Posted on April 1st, 2010 by .

In a city renown for charm and romantic nooks, there is one neighborhood that visitors reference time and gain as their most memorable location: Old Montréal. This historic district of Montréal gives our little city a reputation for being charming and creative, with a European flair rarely found in North America.  The cobblestone streets, stunning gothic architecture and epicurean delights have seduced countless travelers.

It really is a “must see” on any visitor’s agenda.

Yet to really understand the charm of Vieux Montréal (as we say en français), it’s helpful to have a brief understanding of the history of the city. Montréal, as a contemporary urban concept, began in May of 1642 with a group of French settlers. The initial central business district began to develop, for logistical reasons, close to the docks along the St. Lawrence River.  But as the population grew, Montréal pushed north towards “Mont Royal.”

Despite centuries of urban evolution and natural forces (such as fires and floods), Old Montréal, has maintained its charm. These days, the area is associated less with trade or business (or sailboats stocked with treasures from “the new world”), and more to the pursuit of leisure, good times and inspiring urban experiences.

Much of the action is found along St. Paul Street or in Place Jacques-Cartier, but as you wander through Old Montréal, you’ll find hidden gems tucked into side streets. Also, many of Montréal’s top boutique hotels are located in this area, as are some of the classiest restaurants.

Popular Activities in Old Montréal:



Old Montréal Boundaries

East: Berri Street
West: McGill Avenue
North: Saint Antoine Street
South: The St. Lawrence River

Metro Access: Champ des Mars, Place D’armes, Square Victoria

Google Map


The official Old Montréal tourist information bureau is located at 174 Notre-Dame St. East (at the corner of Place Jacques-Cartier).  They offer a thorough and helpful (and free) tourist map.


Photo source:


  1. Audree

    / May 4th

    Great post! We need more neighborhood articles, not just about the most known ones!

  2. Nelia

    / May 6th

    IJWTS wow! Why can’t I think of thigns like that?

  3. Kerryn

    / May 6th

    Now we know who the ssenbile one is here. Great post!

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