As Montrealers we go down the same streets every day. They are familiar to us… or are they? Have you ever wondered why your street is named the way it is? We at BlogMTL did extensive research to find the origins of some of Montreal’s most famous streets.
- Avenue Mont Royal
Mont Royal is actually the scientific name of ‘the Mountain’, the geographic formation that lies in the middle of Montreal. Avenue Mount Royale starts at the bottom of the mountain, hence the name!
- Avenue Bernard
This street was renamed Bernard by mayor Jean Drapeau (fun fact: Drapeu means flag in French!) after the death of composer Bernard Hermann. He composed the theme music to Psycho and mentioned Montreal in an interview one time.
- de Bullion
In French as in English, bullion refers to gold bars. The street name is due to the fact that in the olden days of Montreal sailors would hire prostitutes on this street and pay them in gold bars! A blowjob was 7 gold bars (Montreal was not as popular as a prostitution city in those days!).
- Boulevard René Lévesque
Originally this street was called Dorchester. It was renamed in 1951 after a character in a popular radio show at the time. Later a guy with this name became Prime Minister.
- Boulevard Henri Bourassa
Joseph-Napoléon-Henri Bourassa (French pronunciation: [ɑ̃ʁi buʁasa]; September 1, 1868 – August 31, 1952) was a French Canadian political leader and publisher. In 1899, Bourassa was outspoken against the British government’s request for Canada to send a militia to fight for Britain in the Second Boer War. Laurier’s compromise was to send a volunteer force, but the seeds were sown for future conscription protests during the world wars. Bourassa challenged, unsuccessfully, the proposal to build warships to help protect the empire. He led the opposition to mandatory conscription during World War I, arguing that Canada’s interests were not at stake. He opposed Catholic bishops who defended military support of Britain and its allies. Bourassa was an ideological father of French-Canadian nationalism. (Source: Wikipedia.org)
- rue Laval
In an attempt to surpass the popularity of its neighbor to the north, early settlers named this plateau street Laval. It wasn’t until 2006 that Montreal actually overtook Laval in popularity but the street remains nonetheless.
- rue Clark
Named in 1875, this street is a reference to one of the most prosperous landowners of the era, Stanley Clark Bagg. Bagg street off of St-Laurent is also named after him, as is the brand of beige shoes favored by guys who learned how to dress from the Internet.
- Avenue des Canadiens-de-Montreal
This street was renamed after 273 people lost their lives in the hockey riots of 1993. It is a sober reminder of everything that we have fought for as a people: 24 Stanley Cups. (Fun fact: this street is also home to Quebecois classic eatery La Cage aux Sports! Try the 911 wings!)