Tag Archives: Montreal Geography Trivia

Montreal Geography Trivia No. 68

What is the significance of the shaded area of this map?

UPDATE: COOL FAT MICHAEL FROM THE JERSEY SHORE ‘87 and Jim both got the right answer: these are the borders of the village, town, city and ward of Sainte-Cunégonde, sandwiched between St. Henri (whose eastern border was Atwater) and Montreal.

Not only was this independent city tiny (in 1840 it had 10 inhabitants), it was also short-lived. It was developed after it was bought by Alexandre Delisle and William Workman around 1850. At first, it relied heavily on bordering St. Henri for basic services like schools and a church, but the village’s inhabitants, upset with the distance they’d have to travel and the taxes they’d have to pay, wanted some of their own.

Ste. Cunégonde was founded as a parish in 1875, taking its name from Cunégonde de Luxembourg. It was incorporated in 1887 and became its own city in 1890.

But around the turn of the century, Ste. Cunégonde faced the same fate as many other towns around Montreal at the time: merger. In 1905 it became a ward of the city of Montreal. By the midpoint of the 20th century, the boundaries ceased to have any meaning.

Today, the only remnants of the town are the buildings (including the old Sainte-Cunégonde church, now the Korean Catholic Mission on St. Jacques), and the street and park named after it.

For more on the village, you can read this book, published in 1893 by E.Z. Massicotte.

Montreal Geography Trivia No. 67

This map notes some of the locations of something that used to be all over the city but no longer exists.

What is it?

UPDATE: A bunch of you guessed correctly: These are Steinberg’s store locations on the island.

For those new to the city or too young to remember, Steinberg’s (later without the apostrophe-S) was Quebec’s first and largest supermarket throughout most of the 20th century. Based in Montreal, it expanded throughout the city and then throughout the province and into eastern Ontario as well. But financial pressures led to its decline in the 1980s and by 1992 they had all disappeared.

Their memory is kept alive on Flickr’s Ghosts of Steinberg account, which collects photos of former Steinberg locations. It’s explained by Chris DeWolf on Spacing Montreal in 2008.

You can check out my map (locations taken from Ghosts of Steinberg and a few other locations) on Google Maps here.

Montreal Geography Trivia No. 65

What is this the shape of?

And, for you smarty pants who already know, a tougher follow-up: why is it shaped like this?

UPDATE: This is, of course, a map of the town of Côte Saint-Luc. Those things on the right are exclaves, little pockets of Côte Saint-Luc land sandwiched between Hampstead and Montreal. They’re tiny, but their history is one of controversy, bad blood, political power struggles and, of course, money.

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Montreal Geography Trivia No. 64

Montreal Geography Trivia No. 64

What is this a picture of?

UPDATE: Just about everyone guessed correctly that these are decomposing railway ties, but Frank was the first to properly guess that these are decomposing tramway ties, uncovered because of excavation work.

Exposed tramway rail and ties on Sherbrooke St. W. near Loyola, taken in September 2006.

Exposed tramway rail and ties on Sherbrooke St. W. near Loyola, taken in September 2006.

The city is littered with tramway rails that were merely paved over after the network was dismantled. Some are later exposed through potholes, others because of excavation work, and are slowly being removed. But much of the vast network still remains, just inches below the surface of the street.

Montreal Geography Trivia No. 63

In Quebec, every named street has an official designation, comprising of a generic (Rue, Chemin, Boulevard, Avenue, Ruelle, Croissant, etc.) and a specific (de Maisonneuve, Sainte-Catherine, René-Lévesque). On signs in Montreal, the specifics are written in large letters and the generic in smaller letters on top.

Where there is no generic, or street type, the default is “Rue”, or “Street”.

There is an exception to this, a named road that has no small type on its street signs (old and new), but that isn’t a “Rue”.

What is it? And what type of street is it?

UPDATE: Couldn’t fool you folks. A bunch of you got it right, but once again COOL FAT MICHAEL 1999 FROM DIRTY JERZY was first: It’s Le Boulevard.

Le Boulevard in Montreal

Le Boulevard in Montreal

But it’s also The Boulevard, depending on the sign:

Another sign at the same intersection, only now it's "The Boulevard"

Another sign at the same intersection, only now it's "The Boulevard"

And, in case it was ever in doubt, Le Boulevard is officially classified as a boulevard. Though calling it “Boulevard Le Boulevard” would be incorrect.

Similar exceptions in other towns in Quebec are stranger than that. In St. Jérôme, there’s 1er Boulevard, 2e Boulevard up to 5e Boulevard, but those are classified as streets, as are Grand Boulevard in Ile Perrot, St. Bruno and St. Hubert.

Montreal Geography Trivia No. 62

Image from Google Street View

Image from Google Street View

That may look like unexplored prairies beyond, but it will soon become an important traffic link on the island of Montreal. Where is it?

UPDATE: It is, of course, Cavendish Blvd. in St. Laurent, overlooking its coming extension to Henri-Bourassa Blvd. Of course, who knows when it will actually happen. Marc was the first with the right answer and is this week’s winner.

Montreal Geography Trivia No. 59

From Google Maps

From Google Maps

According to Google, it would take an hour to drive this, and 10 hours to walk.

But what are these points?

UPDATE: sco100 gets it right below. These are the residences of the six candidates for Montreal’s mayor (as included in the notice to electors), in the order of their popular vote:

  • A: Gérald Tremblay
  • B: Louise Harel
  • C: Richard Bergeron
  • D: Louise O’Sullivan
  • E: Michel Bédard
  • F: Michel Prairie

Montreal Geography Trivia No. 56

Another suggestion from a reader: Where in Montreal do a street (“rue”) and avenue of the same name intersect?

Bonus half-points if you want to throw in streets and crescents, streets and boulevards, streets and terrasses, etc., which are much more common.

Alexandra Avenue and Alexandra Street

Alexandra Avenue and Alexandra Street

UPDATE: I should have excluded numbered streets and avenues (too easy). The answer I (and contributor Jean Naimard) had in mind was Alexandra St. and Alexandra Ave. in Little Italy. But I’m sure you can come up with others.