Montreal Geography Trivia No. 9

Life-long Montrealers would probably say something about how the places in Column A relate to their counterparts in Column B.

And they would be wrong.


Ste. Dorothée Boucherville
Berri-UQAM Longueuil-Université-de-Sherbrooke
Trudeau Airport St. Hubert Airport
Papineau-Leblanc Bridge Louis H. Lafontaine Bridge-Tunnel
Sacré-Coeur Hospital Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital
Claude-Robillard Sport Centre Olympic Stadium
St-Laurent Blvd. and Cremazie Blvd. Pie-IX Blvd. and Sherbrooke St.

UPDATE: The answer, as slowly zeroed in on by the group below, is that the places in column A are south (actually west-southwest) of the respective places in column B, while they fit the definition of “Montreal north,” a seeming contradiction.

The disparity comes because the island is crooked. Its major east-west streets turn toward the northeast as they pass through downtown, and the “South Shore” is more accurately the East Shore, surrounding the island on the south and east but also continuing northeast.

It may be simpler to think of every street as having only four directions (and the streets and highways are named as if this is the case), but don’t think you’re going to get to the Eastern Townships by taking the 40 Est.

8 thoughts on “Montreal Geography Trivia No. 9

  1. Tim

    Okay, I’ll give it a go.

    Each item in column B lies east-by-northeast of its correspondent item in column A.

    Probably not what you were going for, but truly I can’t think of anything else…

  2. Josh

    I didn’t pick up on the pattern here (mostly because I don’t even know where some of those things are), but since I moved here in 1999, I’ve been frustrated with Montreal’s messed-up sense of direction.

    Go east on Sherbrooke? No. Maybe northeast though. North on St-Laurent? It actually runs more west than north. I know why it happens – this isn’t the only city that orients itself around big physical features more than a compass – but it’s still an annoyance.

  3. Tim

    Well thought out, sir. Given that it’s a “Montreal” Geography question, I should have clued in the second I started thinking in terms of cardinal directions. Do I get part marks? =¬P

    The city doesn’t help itself with this confusion. Take the STM (please!): its metro network map on board the trains orients itself on true North, but the island-wide network maps on the platforms are aligned (close to, but even then not exactly on) the city’s definition of North.

  4. Fagstein Post author

    The network map orientation is more about being able to fit the island on a rectangular sheet than it is correcting for “Montreal North,” though the fact that people do that (even the City of Montreal tilts the island on its website) does contribute to the problem.

  5. JulieBob

    WTF… Université de Sherbrooke? In Longueuil?

    The university system in this province is out of control. Must expand… must expand….must expand, uh-oh… financial crisis! Aieee!


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