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A street brimming with history, culture and commerce: Montréal’s legendary Sainte-Catherine Street has as many stories as it does street numbers!
From west to east, Sainte-Catherine Street stretches 11 kilometres (9 miles) across the city. It is Montréal’s main commercial artery and one of North America’s longest and liveliest, for good reason.
From Saint-Laurent Boulevard, going west, the street is home to the major department stores, an array of boutiques, restaurants and several shopping centres. Out the other way is a mix of boutiques, nightlife hotspots, cafés, theatre venues and more. From the great festivals to sidewalk sales to red carpet events, there’s always something happening along Sainte-Catherine!
No less than nine metro stations serve this mighty street that winds its way through residential neighbourhoods, the Quartier des spectacles and the downtown core. And with the ever-growing number of office towers close by, Sainte-Catherine Street offers easy access to the Underground Pedestrian Network.
Sainte-Catherine Street has been the pride of Montréal for over a century. Towards the end of the 19th century, English merchants began to set up shop along Sainte-Catherine Street West. Philips Square saw the arrival of notable department stores the likes of Henry Morgan and Co. (now the Hudson’s Bay building), Birks Jewellers in 1894, then Eaton’s in 1927 and Simpson not long behind. Today, a diverse mix of patrimonial architecture combines with modern-day utility, making the street a prime shopping and entertainment destination.
On the other hand, the traditionally francophone Sainte-Catherine Street East developed with industry in the 1870s. It became a commercial artery towards the end of the 19th century, with ground-floor shops in residential buildings making way for large stores. To this, add a host of entertainment venues, cinemas and theatres that keep Sainte-Catherine Street East hopping to this day.