Montréal neighbourhood: Discover Shaughnessy Village

Concordia University
Robyn Fadden

Robyn Fadden

This article was published on January 11, 2024.

One of Montréal’s most rapidly changing neighbourhoods, Shaughnessy Village balances urban style, cultural diversity and noteworthy new restaurants with centuries-old history. Bounded by Guy Street to the east, Atwater Street to the west, Sherbrooke Street to the north and René Lévesque Boulevard to the south, the neighbourhood gets its name from Canadian Pacific Railway president Thomas Shaughnessy’s luxurious home, built in 1874. Whether you’ve never been to the area or you think you already know it, whether you’re an architecture buff or a izakaya enthusiast, it’s definitely time for a visit.

Montreal Canadiens Hockey Game - Bell Centre

History and hockey

With the architecturally rich Golden Square Mile district (home to the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, the Ritz-Carlton, designer boutiques, hotels and more) and bustling Concordia University across its eastern border, Shaughnessy Village gets quiet, prosperous Westmount (and its lone, busy mall Alexis Nihon) on the west and a steady stream of traffic along the Ville-Marie Expressway to the south. In the midst of it all: architecture that dates back to the 17th century and, also historically significant, hockey. The Montréal Canadiens called the storied Montréal Forum home for 70 years, winning 24 Stanley Cup championships there before a 1996 move to the Bell Centre. Across from Cabot Square on Sainte-Catherine Street, the Forum is now officially a National Historic Site of Canada and hosts The Comedy Nest comedy club, an SAQ liquor store, a Cineplex Odeon movie theatre and more – with a statue of Maurice Richard and several original seats preserved where centre ice once gleamed.


Grey Nuns Summer Residence - Concordia University

Architecture and nature

The late-1960s marked a major shift for a neighbourhood once populated entirely by Victorian row houses, quaint low-rise apartment buildings (some still exist along de Maisonneuve and elsewhere) and drinking holes (not to mention an underground reputation as the “gay village” for Anglophones). Highway infrastructure, universities and high-rises transformed the neighbourhood, bringing more residents, commercial storefronts and restaurants. Learn more about the area, the city and well beyond at The Canadian Centre for Architecture, hosting intriguing permanent and temporary exhibitions and a must-see outdoor sculpture garden – it’s also where you’ll find the neighbourhood’s namesake Shaughnessy House mansion incorporated into the galleries. Another great garden and architectural delight in one: the Grey Nuns motherhouse and National Historic Site, established in 1861 and restored by Concordia University.


Shaughnessy café

Cafés and breakfasts

Along with the booming student population from Concordia University, Dawson College, LaSalle College and more schools comes ubiquitous coffee shops, from beloved chains Tim Hortons, Second Cup and Starbucks to indie locals Café Shaughnessy, Café Myriade and The Round House (the only Indigenous Café in Montréal!). Or opt for the creative tea concoctions at Hestia. For coffee, hot chocolate and decadent desserts, look no further than Juliette et Chocolat on Sainte-Catherine Street. Enjoy an early breakfast or laid-back brunch at local chain Allo! Mon Coco near Concordia University. Or pick up a banana or a whole home-cooked meal at local grocery stores P.A., Provigo, Marché Adonis Mediterranean food market, Marché Oriental Jang Teu Korean grocer.

Restaurants and bars

One of the most densely populated areas of the city, Shaughnessy Village is hungry at all hours and ready to eat everything, such as Korean comfort food at Ganadara Restaurant, Samcha, or La Maison Bulgogi along Sainte-Catherine Street. Go check out the newly renovated Kampai Garden in the Faubourg centre, also on Sainte-Catherine Street. Or eat well at Restaurant Branzino, whether you’re staying in the Meridien Versailles hotel or not. Devour soup dumplings to your heart’s content at Qing Hua Dumpling on de Maisonneuve. Find delicious Middle Eastern fare at Château Kabab and Al Taib and refined Indian cooking at Etoile des Indes.

Check out La Belle & La Boeuf burger bar, Canadian-themed Moosebawr and Station des Sports sports bar. Squeeze into locally famed Restaurant Kazu for Japanese bar food like okonomiyaki, onigiri and ramen, while on the Westmount side of Atwater, the energetic atmosphere of Imadake izakaya inspires a few rounds of sake bombs. For a fun glow-in-the-dark golf experience, go to Putting Edge indoor. With its long and resilient history, Shaughnessy Village will undoubtedly keep changing with the times, but likely won’t ever give in.

Robyn Fadden

Robyn Fadden

Robyn Fadden is a Montréal-based writer and editor who searches out city secrets, new bands, life-changing art and things to do with her perpetually active kid. Robyn has covered major events for HOUR, MUTEK, ARTINFO, CKUT 90.3FM and more.

See articles by Robyn