Montreal Geography Trivia No. 50

As we all know, because street address numbers on east-west streets begin at St. Laurent Blvd., any street that’s on both sides needs to be differentiated with “Est” or “Ouest”.

There are three four streets (by my count) on the island of Montreal that have “Ouest” versions, but no “Est”. At least, not anymore. Which are they, and what happened to the “Est” versions?

UPDATE: I’ve expanded the parameters to the island so as to include Boul. Dorchester Ouest, whiwch wasn’t on my original list. That expands the list to four, all of which have been correctly guessed below:

Boul. Dorchester Ouest (Westmount) (Pierre)

René-Lévesque Blvd. used to be called Dorchester, and it went well past St. Laurent. When the government decided to change the name after Lévesque’s death in 1987, Westmount balked and kept Dorchester for the tiny stretch within city limits.

There is a Rue Dorchester in Montreal East, which similarly is the extension of Rue René-Lévesque in Pointe aux Trembles.

Rue de Beauharnois Est?

Rue de Beauharnois Est?

Rue de Beauharnois Ouest (Pierre)

Beauharnois is debatable. There is actually a short section of it east of St. Laurent, which caused Rue Beauharnois to be split into East and West around 1978 (according to the Lovell’s directory). But there have never been any addresses on that street, nor are there any street signs with that name.

20 Rue de Beauharnois Est?

20 Rue de Beauharnois Est?

There is a single street address marked, for a company called Pure FX Design, but that’s just a side entrance. The actual address for that company is on St. Laurent.

Even the city can't get the name right

Even the city can't get the name right

The confusion even has the government scratching its head apparently. Street signs in the area seem to switch randomly between Rue de Beauharnois and Rue de Beauharnois Ouest (or in the case of the sign at the corner of St. Laurent, simply Rue Beauharnois). The Commission de toponymie du Québec, which one would assume is an authority in such things, does list Rue de Beauharnois Est and Rue de Beauharnois Ouest.

A map shows St. James St. E. where the Palais de justice is now.

A map shows St. James St. E. where the Palais de justice is now.

Rue Saint-Jacques Ouest (Pierre)

Formerly St. James Street (some hard-core angryphones still call it that), it extended eastward before the Palais de justice was built, making a quick right turn and ending at Notre Dame. The Commission lists only Rue Saint-Jacques now, but many signs and maps still have it as Rue Saint-Jacques Ouest.

Rue de Montigny Ouest has no eastern counterpart

Rue de Montigny Ouest has no eastern counterpart

Rue de Montigny Ouest (Daniel)

De Maisonneuve Blvd. is a creation of the metro system. Before the 60s, it was a bunch of different roads, including Western, Burnside and St. Luc. The largest part, from St. Urban to du Havre (formerly Harbour St.), was called Rue de Montigny. Since it passed through St. Laurent, it was divided into East and West.

Rue de Montigny sticks out like an appendix from de Maisonneuve Blvd.

Rue de Montigny sticks out like an appendix from de Maisonneuve Blvd.

At the end of de Montigny, however, there was a problem: Place des Arts was in the way. So de Maisonneuve was rerouted to the north, taking an awkward curve right next to Ontario/President-Kennedy before lining up with what used to be Burnside St.

This left a short stretch of road between St. Laurent and St. Urbain, which kept the de Montigny name. According to the Commission de toponymie, it should be just Rue de Montigny. But as you can see from the sign above, it’s still de Montigny Ouest.

There’s also a Rue de Montigny in Montreal-Est, but that’s neither East nor West.

18 thoughts on “Montreal Geography Trivia No. 50

  1. Eddy

    Not an easy one…. here’s a shot.

    De Beauharnois

    And what did happen to the “Est” versions?

  2. Eric

    Let’s see.

    St Jacques O. Annoying for me since I live on St. Jacques and people always ask East or West.

    Rue De Beauhamois O. seems to be only west. it has a small part on the map going east a few meters but unlike similar street like Chabanel it doesn not seem to have an east name.

    And of course, Dorchester O. You gotta love Westmount Anglos.

  3. David Pinto

    Not to steal Pierre’s thunder …

    I believe that at one time there was a St. Jacques Est, which ran diagonally from St. Laurent in a southeasterly direction — not sure where exactly it ended, tho.

    1. Marc-O

      There’s a De Montigny street in Montreal Est. It’s a long stretch pretending it’s the same street, but there are other streets that are disjointed between downtown and the east (I think I remember a post on this blog about it). Actually, it’s between Ste-Catherine E and Ontario E…

  4. David Pinto

    The angryphones ought to be pleased that you included that little section of an old map, because that section shows Craig — which is now St. Antoine — and Commissioners, which is now de la Commune.

  5. David Pinto

    There is another curious situation at the western end of what most of us refer to as St. Jacques.
    Pay attention – this is confusing. What follows is taken from Google Maps.
    At some point, St. Jacques morphs into 138.
    When 138 branches off, it now becomes Rue Saint-Jacques O, (spelling taken directly from Google Maps).
    This intersects notably with West Broadway, Westmore, Elmhurst …
    Then it becomes Chemin Avon which runs away down a hill and over the railroad tracks, via an overpass, and ends up as Rue St. Jacques, intersecting notably with Ouellette, Du Moulin, Rolland …
    This last stretch, BTW, is in what used to be known as Ville St-Pierre.

    1. Fagstein Post author

      I’m not quite sure what’s confusing about this, other than the street turning into Avon and back into St. Jacques once it leaves Montreal West.

  6. David Pinto

    One doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
    I have just received a new batch of cheques.
    In the section of the cheque which indicates where the bank is located, it says:
    Royal Bank of Canada
    360 St Jacques Street Branch
    360 St Jacques St W
    Montreal QC H2Y 1P6
    In fact, 360 St Jacques St W does not exist


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