Montreal Geography Trivia No. 30

Back because you demanded it!

There are many streets in Montreal that change names for no apparent reason. Drive straight and suddenly you’re on a new road. Perhaps you’ve crossed a municipal border, or are on part of a street that has been renamed in someone’s honour (or, in the case of Dorchester/René-Lévesque, both).

But this street is particularly bad.

Starting from one end:

  • the street turns into a square
  • the square turns into a type of street whose translation into English I had to look up because it’s so rare
  • that “street” turns into a place
  • the place turns into another place
  • that place turns into a street

And you can walk the length of all six of these streets in under 30 minutes (according to Google Maps).

What are the names of these streets? And, for bonus points, at what intersections (or other boundaries) do they change names?

UPDATE: Plenty of you got this one right. The answer is:

  • Rue McGill (McGill St.), from de la Commune St. W. to St. Jacques St. W.
  • Square Victoria (actually Rue du Square Victoria, or Victoria Square St.) from St. Jacques St. W. to Viger Ave. W. (Viger St. W.? Stupid Google Maps)
  • Côte du Beaver Hall (Beaver Hall Hill) from Viger to René-Lévesque Blvd. W.
  • Place du Frère André from René-Lévesque Blvd. W. to about 10 feet down the road
  • Place Phillips (Phillips Place) from that point to Ste. Catherine St. W. (and, of course, next to Phillips Square)
  • Rue Aylmer (Aylmer St.) from Ste. Catherine St. W. to Pine Ave. W.

20 thoughts on “Montreal Geography Trivia No. 30

  1. Matt

    How about the street which is:

    rue McGill, until Saint-Jacques
    rue du Square-Victoria, until Viger
    côte du Beaver Hall, until René-Lévesque
    place du Frère-André, to about a building north of René-Lévesque
    place Phillips, until Cathcart
    rue du Square-Phillps, to Saint-Catherine

  2. Zeke


    Alymer into Phillips Square into Place Frere Andre into Beaver Hall Hill into Square Victoria into McGill? Your description isn’t the most precise :-)

  3. Tim

    I’ll bite… intersections are between ()’s

    Rue McGill (Notre-Dame) Square Victoria (Viger) Côte du Beaver-Hall (René-Lévesque) Place du Frère-André (…not applicable?) Place Philips (Ste-Catherine) Rue Aylmer

    (The square is called Square Philips, but if you believe the STM, the eastern-side street is called Place Philips. Cf:

  4. Michael Anderson

    Okay, this is a stretch, but in the pre-Quartier International Square Victoria would have made this roughly continuous and maybe within the criteria:

    Rue McGill
    Square Victoria
    Côte Du Beaver Hall (I can’t think of another time where “Côte” is a street generic)
    Place Phillips
    Place du Square Phillips (?)
    Rue Aylmer

    Which, according to Google Maps takes 29 minutes to walk, from 2 Rue Mcgill to 3600 Aylmer.

  5. AJ

    Unless I’m mistaken, isn’t it:

    McGill Street -> Square Victoria -> Beaver Hall Hill -> Place Frère-André -> Place Phillips -> Phillips Square -> Aylmer St?

  6. Amanda

    Does it by chance involve these streets?

    Rue McGill
    Rue du Square Victoria
    Côte du Beaver Hall
    Phillips Place
    Rue Aylmer

  7. AngryFrenchGuy

    You are talking about:

    Rue du Square Victoria
    Côte du Beaver Hall (Beaver Hall Hill?)
    Place du Frère André
    Place Phillips
    Rue du Square Phillips

    Do I win a T-shirt?

  8. Bill_the_Bear

    It used to be even worse than this, because what we now know as Aylmer Street had, before the mid-Sixties, three different names.

    Aylmer was only the stretch between Ste-Catherine and Sherbrooke.

    From Sherbrooke to Prince-Arthur, it was Shuter Street,

    From Prince-Arthur to Pine, it had yet a different name, which I can never remember.

  9. Kevin

    Côte is rare as a street name but can be found gracing several streets in Quebec City and at least one other street in Montreal: Côte Du Vesinet.

  10. Fagstein Post author

    You mean “Chemin de la Côte-Ste-Catherine” and “Chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges”

    There’s also “Chemin Côte-St-Antoine”. They’re named after hills, but they are not hill streets.

  11. Pierre Phaneuf

    Pfft, that’s nothing. When I went to live in Toulouse, France for a year, I finally understood the raison d’être of GPS computers in cars. I used to scoff at those, because, well, even as a tourist (in North America), I usually only needed to spend a little bit more time at a map, perhaps stop a few times to look at it again.

    In Toulouse, taxis all have GPS because they couldn’t work without them. You ask them about places, they don’t even try most of the time, they just punch it in, and don’t even know where it is. Every street changes names at least once, and on average runs less than 200 metres with any given name. Look up the Avenue de Lardenne there on Google Maps, and follow it in almost a straight line to become Avenue de Lombez, Avenue Etienne Bilières (heh, I didn’t even know that part’s name, even though I rode my bike down that street every day or so!), Rue de la République, Rue de Metz, Place Esquirol, then Rue de Metz again (it then changes names again, but there’s a fork in the road, so I deem it acceptable there, and I shall stop). I explained that the Boulevard René-Levesque here was many kilometres long, and they were amazed at the “great Canadian spaces”, but then I pointed out that La Rocade Arc-En-Ciel (name of just one segment) was in fact much bigger and longer, but that they just couldn’t bloody stick to one name for it.

    My friend claimed it’s because they have more history, they have to give the names of their heroes to their streets and places, but they’re running out. Heh.

  12. David Pinto

    Somewhat off-topic, but more or less related:
    In parts of Verdun and Lasalle, there are street numbers which begin with a zero, e.g. 0564 insert name of street.
    Is there some reason for this?


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