October 2012 Archives

The Plateau-Mont Royal Split: Student Life by Ruby Aria


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The Plateau-Mont Royal is, as far as I am concerned, the beat that keeps the heart of the city contracting. The infamous Montreal borough is sectioned by two of the more popular neighborhoods, "the Plateau" and Mile-End, and hosts the city's densest student population. Two nooks of the same borough differing in language and lifestyle offer Montreal students the option to choose the area that best suits them.


The map below illustrates the Plateau-Mont Royal location as a central organ of the city.


Image source: Flickr

Map source: Wikipedia

Clean Boating on the Lachine Canal by Emily Hubbard


Screen shot 2021-11-05 at 2.18.26 PM.pngThe Lachine Canal runs South-west through the island of Montreal, linking the Old Port and the St. Lawrence River. It was developed to transport commercial goods between 1825 and 1970. After its closure in 1970, the Lachine canal fell into disrepair for several decades. In 2002, an overhaul of the canal allowed it to be repurposed for use of pleasure crafts. The increase in recreational boating over the last decade has had positive impact on the revitalization of the canal, and the economy of Quebec. The promotion of cleaner fuel and water purity is an important investment to continue the health and growth of the Lachine Canal and surrounding waterways.

Backgrounder on Lachine Canal by Emily Hubbard



The Lachine Canal is a man-made waterway built in 1825 in order to facilitate shipping and trade to the factories along its shores. The closure of the canal in 1970 caused deterioration of the passage, as well as surrounding area, factories and buildings. A revitalization project undertaken in 2002 has allowed the canal to find new life and for the public to experience this piece of national heritage through recreational activities. The continued improvement of the area will cause economic growth and stability; however, pollution of the waterways due to increased boating and use should be closely monitored.

Backgrounder on Hochelaga-Maisonneuve by Laurene Jardin


Poverty, grimy and crime describe Montreal borough Hochelaga-Maisonneuve or HOMA, the eastern part of Montreal.The purpose of this backgrounder is simply to shed light on the clandestine features of the borough's past, present and prospective future. The first section entitled "History" will describe the industrial roots of the district. The second part "Now" will analyze the current politcal and residential . Finally, the piece will summarize the "Future Implications"  will define what the government has promised to provide HoMa with in the near future.


(Olympic Stadium located in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. Photo credit: Wikipedia)



Since the mid 1800s, Hochelaga-Maisonneuve has been described as an industrial region, due to the many manufacturing companies including several cotton, textile and tobacco factories, as well as the Canadian Northern Railway. These manufacturers rmain an important part of the district to this day. For example, Lantic sugar factory, which was originally the St. Lawrence Sugar Factory in the early 1900s ("Neighbourhood Hochelaga-Maisonneuve"). Actually, Lantic Sugar generated quite a brawl this summer. The company intended to demolish part of the factory, but according to Heritage Montreal it should be preserved as a historical symbol (Heritage Montreal).


(St Lawrence Sugar Refinery in 1912. Photo Credit:© McCord Museum, © Héritage Montréal)

(Lantic Sugar today. Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

(Picture of Pie-IX boulevard in 1870-1880. Photo Credit: © Dinu Bumbaru, © Héritage Montréal)


At a time where manufacturing was precedential, this traditionally French-Canadian population became a thriving village. It was during this period that the erected a series of lavish buildings and exquisite streets like Pie-IX boulevard in Maisonneuve ("Neighbourhood Hochelaga-Maisonneuve").

Successively, like many prosperous towns, while increasing its architectural attractions and buildings Maisonneuve also increased its unsettled fees. Sadly, this borough did not fair too well in the years that ensued the First World War, in the same way that the Great Depression hit most industrialized areas. In fact, the town accumulated an 18 million dollar debt and for this reason  merged with the city of Montreal in 1918 ("Neighbourhood Hochelaga-Maisonneuve").

Despite Hochelga-Maisonneuve' outstanding debts, the burgeoning city of Montreal continued constructing industrial sectors in, even at the expense of residential housing in the region. Additionally, costly expenditures, like the creation of the Olympic Stadium, which is to this the second most expensive stadium ever made (Egan), discouraged people's standpoint of area. In the upcoming years Hochelaga-Maisonneuve seemed to be a moribund area (Lord). Indeed, Hochelaga-Maisonneuve was not a desirable place to live, as several Montrealers revealed in an interview. Benoit Grenier, a swimming coach at the Olympic Stadium and is who looking to buy a condo in the HoMA, said laughing: "...a few of years ago? No way. No way would I have considered moving here." 


Today, Hochelaga-Maisonneuve maintains its industrialized representation. Firstly, many factories and important businesses are located in this eastern part of Montreal. For instance, the Olympic Park, which is undoubtedly Montreal's most important touristic feature. Despite the grueling thirty years that it took Montrealer's to pay off the 1.5 billion $ debt, "close to 100 million people have visited the Olympic Park or attended an event since 1976" ("Frequently Asked Questions": Rio). Moreover, HoMa's population is labelled as a "working-class" society and can be identified as Quebecois. Have voted for the Parti Quebecois, PQ in the past five elections ("Hochelaga-Maisonneuve - Quebec Votes 2012": CBC). In this year's provincial election 45.10% of the disctrict's population voted in favor of the PQ and 23.69% voted for Quebec Solidaire, QS. Both of these parties, QS and PQ,  share the same views on students' tuition fees and Quebec's distinctive character. This emphasizes the stance of a district that voted in favor for the separation of Quebec in the 1995 referendum ("Hochelaga-Maisonneuve - Quebec Votes 2012": CBC).


(Leader of the PQ, Pauline Marois, being accompanied off stage. Photo credit: Calgary Herald)

Structurally, HOMA is developing into a more "habitable" neighborhood. The building of many new chic condos, up-and-coming restaurants and coffee houses illustrate this. Specifically, condos are being constructed all around the region and the condos are significantly cheaper in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve compared to other competing places on the island of Montreal ("Condo Homa"). Another central facet of Hochelaga Maisonneuve is its accessibility. Almost always can one find easy access to a bus, metro or bike path. This demonstrates how Hochelaga-Maisonneuve is environmentally friendly and feasibly an avant-garde borough. In fact, Hochelaga-Maisonneuve became the first district in Montreal deemed to be a "fair-trade" society: a village, town or borough, that constantly bases everyday decisions with the forethought of free trade (Beaudin).

Additionally, the emergence of restaurants, cafes and eateries in the area shows how HoMa may be shifting towards a trendier future. For example, one of the newest hotspots in HOMA is HocheCafe and it arguably serves the best grilled-cheese sandwiches in Montreal. This cannot go without mentioning that their homemade salads, baked goods and a selection of velvety coffees are simply delectable.

(Surf n' Turf at Les Canailles. Photo Credit: Les Canailles)

Another example is the bring-your-own-wine restaurant is Les Canailles, which was created merely a year ago (Chesterman). This restaurant has been described by foodies as surprisingly good since it is not in a popular area (Chesterman).

Ultimately, like many well-to-do boroughs Hochelaga-Maisonneuve offers various services (Leduc, and Thériault Faust 1-49). The following list names but a few of these go-to places.

  • Libraries; Langelier, Hochelaga, Maisonneuve, Mericier
  • Cultural centers: Maisonneuve & Mercier cultural centers
  • Sports and recreation centers; the YMCA, the Olympic Stadium, ProGym
  • Parks; including Maisonneuve Park
  • Maisonneuve Fresh Market  


In 2009, the city of Montreal and the bourough of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, collaborated and formed a mandate, which described the initative steps that the government was prepared take in order to change Hochelaga's daunty reputation. This comprises the proceeding goals:

  • Improving the relationship between HoMa's business and residential areas.
  • Increasing the building and quality of residential buildings
  • Encouraging tree and plant protection while maintaining an appealing living space
  • Creating and maintaining activity, sports and culture infrastructures
  • Protecting and promoting of historical & heritage areas
  • Improving cycling paths, pedestrian paths and keep peace in residential areas
  • Encouraging the residents of the borough to identify with one another.

(Leduc, and Thériault Faust 1-49)

If the municipal government can hold to these promises, perhaps these undertones that connected to Hochelaga-Maisonneuve will finally disintegrate; perhaps.


"Neighbourhood Hochelaga-Maisonneuve." Montreal Insites. Heritage Montreal, n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2012. 

Heritage Montreal. Demolition of the Sucre Lantic CooperageHeritage Montreal. Natalie Kaiser, 12 June 2012. Web. 19 Sept. 2010.  

Egan, Andrew. "World's Most Expensive Stadiums." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 08 June 2008. Web. 25 Sept. 2012.

Lord, Denis. "Hochelaga-Maisonneuve - Revitalisation." Le Devoir.com. Le Devoir, 11 Oct. 2003. Web. 25 Sept. 2012.

Grenier, Benoit. Personal Interview. 22 Sept. 2012.

"Frequently Asked Questions" RIO. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2012.

"Hochelaga-Maisonneuve - Quebec Votes 2012." CBCnews. CBC/Radio Canada, n.d. Web.18 Sept. 2012. 

"Condo Homa". GuideHabitation.ca. Guide Habitation, n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2012.

Beaudin, Monique. "Fair Trade Fair in Hochelaga Maisonneuve This Weekend." Fair Trade Fair in Hochelaga Maisonneuve This Weekend. The Gazette, 12 May 2010. Web.19 Sept. 2012. 

Facebook handle (Les Canailles). Facebook.com. n.d.. Web.  22 Sept. 2012.  

Chesterman, Lesley. "Fine Dining: Les Canailles." n.d.: n. pag. Montrealgazette.com.The Gazette, 27 Sept. 2011. Web. 20 Sept. 2012.

Leduc, Ivon, and Lyn Thériault Faust. Montreal. Arrondisement de Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. Plan d'urbanisme de Montréal:Partie II Chapitre 14. Montreal: City of Montreal, 2009. Web.

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