Talk: Saint-Laurent Boulevard, key player in Mile End’s history

Saint-Laurent Boulevard, key player in Mile End’s history

Talk by Yves Desjardins

Saint-Laurent & Bernard

Boulevard Saint-Laurent, à l’intersection de la rue Bernard, v. 1950.
Archives de la Ville de Montréal, VM98-Y-5,P059

Saint-Lawrence Boulevard, the Main, has been at the heart of Montreal’s identity for three centuries. Historic corridor of immigration to Canada, nightlife capital during the time of Burlesque, Yiddish Theatre and the Red Light District, centre of the garment trade, boundary between the “Two Solitudes”, a refuge for marginal people of all kinds, etc.

But less is known about the history of this artery north of Mount-Royal Avenue. It was the key to the urban development of what had been a rural district until the second half of the 19th century, witness to numerous transformations of the neighbourhood over the years.

From the time it was bordered by farms owned by major property owners, through the garment trade period to its status as high-tech employment hub – and not to forget the transportation services of Mile End Train Station, Saint-Laurent Blvd has always played a key role in the history of the neighbourhood.

Yves Desjardins is a member of the Board of Directors of Mile End Memories. He is also the author of Histoire du Mile End (éditions du Septentrion) and one of the co-authors of the Dictionnaire historique du Plateau Mont-Royal, (Écosociété).


Presentation in French, bilingual question period
Mordecai-Richler Library, 5434 Park Avenue
Sunday Nov. 12, 2017, 2 p.m.
Free admission