After the success in 2017 of the walking tour series Promenades sur le Plateau : histoires et cultures offered in collaboration with the Société d’histoire du Plateau Mont-Royal during the celebrations of the 375th anniversary of Montreal, Mile End Memories has the pleasure of offering most of the Mile End program once again this year.
The tours take place on Sunday afternoons at 2 pm and last about two hours. The meeting place for each tour will be announced a few days in advance, here and on the Mile End Memories Facebook page. Unless indicated otherwise, the tours are offered in French and in English (two tours, two docents). Reservations are not required. A voluntary contribution ($10 suggested) is appreciated, to support the organization’s programming.
- 03-06 / L’avenue du Mont-Royal, de la rue Saint-Denis à l’avenue du Parc / Mont-Royal Avenue, from Saint-Denis to Park (in French only)
This tour of Mont-Royal Avenue will uncover the history of places that have disappeared: the grounds of the provincial agricultural fair and the tramway terminus at the corner of Mont-Royal and Park avenues. We will also learn about buildings that exist today but have been so transformed that their origins are unrecognizable, such as the Mount Royal Department Store.
- 17-06 / L’avenue du Parc, la malaimée / Unloved Park Avenue
Some people think of Park Avenue as the unloved child of Mile End. By taking this walk you will see, hidden behind its apparent lack of harmony, architectural gems from the time that the street was the prestigious avenue of a middle-class suburb, as well as the richness arising from the mixtures of communities that have created Mile End history.
- 08-07 / Saint-Georges : une paroisse ouvrière disparue et les enjeux contemporains de réappropriation du secteur / Saint-Georges: a lost workers’ parish and today’s challenges for community life
In the early 1970s, Mile End experienced several major changes. The Francophone Catholic church of Saint-Georges was demolished; housing, stores, a school and a train station were destroyed to make way for the Rosemont–Van Horne overpass and the tunnel linking Clark and Saint-Urbain. Today, this area is transforming and has found a second wind.
- 22-07 / Des manufactures aux ateliers d’artistes : les mutations de l’est du Mile End / From Sweatshops to Artists’ Studios : Transformations of Eastern Mile End
East of Saint-Laurent Boulevard stand enormous concrete buildings. In the shadow of these remnants of a bygone industrial era can be found the ghosts of an even earlier industrialization, engine of Mile End’s urban development. More recently, an artistic effervescence, unique in Canada, has bloomed amid the concrete. This tour will provide the keys to reading a heterogeneous urban landscape.
- 29-07 / Les pôles fondateurs du Mile End / Founding Sites of Mile End (in French only)
During the 19th century, Mile End developed around four sites: the tavern, the quarries, the church and the railway station. This tour will explore the notable people and the economic activities behind these places, and seek out the traces left behind by these early gathering places. It will also discuss the origin of the name Mile End.
- 19-08 / Le Plateau juif historique / The Historic Jewish Presence in the Plateau
For almost 50 years, Saint-Laurent Boulevard in the Plateau was the centre of Montreal Jewish life. In 1931, more than 50,000 Jews lived nearby, making Yiddish the third most spoken language in Montreal. Come discover the numerous buildings that are a testimony to this time: community and social institutions, synagogues, library and schools.
- 02-09 / L’ouest du Mile End : La croisée des trois cultures / Western Mile End : Crossroads of Three Cultures
Western Mile End, as we know it today, is the improbable result of a merging of a French-Canadian workers’ village, a turn-of-the-20th-century streetcar suburb planned for middle-class Anglo-Protestants and the heart of Jewish Montreal life between the two world wars. Learn how these influences have shaped the neighbourhood and discover what remains from the past.
- 23-09 / Le Mile End juif contemporain, de la deuxième guerre mondiale à aujourd’hui / Contemporary Jewish Mile End, from World War II to today
This tour will present a lesser known aspect of Mile End. The largest Jewish neighbourhood in Montreal before World War II, it changed from the 1940s onward as various Hassidic Jewish communities moved into the area, replacing most of their more secular predecessors. But the neighbourhood’s Jewish community is more diverse than it seems. The tour takes place at the start of the holiday of Sukkot, providing an opportunity to learn how certain Jewish customs and traditions are observed in Montreal.
- 30-09 / Visite historique et littéraire du Mile End / Mile End Literary and Historic Tour
IMPORTANT: Reservation required / Different starting time: see event page
While Mordecai Richler is probably the most famous of Mile End’s writers, the neighbourhood’s literary connections predate him, and continue to this day. Come discover the places and themes that have inspired our literary neighbours and continue to influence today’s creative authors. Excerpts from works in English and French (in translation) will be read during the walk.