Boulevard Saint Laurent

Montreal, Canada

Submitted by: Murray Shostak

This boulevard is home to many nationalities; it is trendy, eclectic and nostalgic.

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Why It Works

Affectionately known as "The Main," it bisects Montreal down the middle, linking the northern middle class residences, the garment district, Little Italy, the Plateau district, Chinatown, Vieux Montreal, and the seaport. 14 nationalities call The Main theirs. 24 hours a day there are people walking about, and enjoying the sights and smells of the various cultures and lifestyles that call the street home. It is trendy, eclectic, nostalgic and impassable during summer festivals.

What Makes Boulevard Saint Laurent a Great Place?

The Metro runs the full length of the Main. Traffic flows fairly well as it is one way, but parking can be a problem.

The visual look and feel changes with every city block. In Vieux Montreal, narrow cobblestone streets teeming with tourists give way to the low rise storefront architecture of the Plateau with some of the best restaurants and bars in town. Little Italy section is lit up at night like Mulberry St in NYC. Uptown, past Jarry Park, the road becomes wider, the buildings become more industrial. That is where the fashion district bargain shopping begins.

Summertime is when the Plateau stretch often is closed to traffic, and festivals take over the street. There are lots of restaurants, night clubs, and boutiques. You can find the best steakhouse in Canada, and some of the best Italian restaurants in North America.

People tend to come down in groups. During the day it is mainly locals, at night it is taken over by the suburbanites and tourists.

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