Neighbourhood Latin

History

1671 1823

1671-1823

A rural landscape

In the mid-eighteenth century, the territory - bordered to the south by the Saint Martin River - was occupied by large homestead properties that fed Ville-Marie.

After Montreal fell to the British, the Viger and Papineau families, major landowners in the area, donated those and other plots of land, including the sites of the future Viger Square and Saint-Jacques Church, to the city. What is now Saint-Denis Street was built in the early 19th century, serving as a thoroughfare between the fortified town and the villages on what is now the Plateau. Rich French-Canadian families built their homes here.

Image : HM_ARC_005200

Atlas of the City and Island of Montreal Canada, Plate E
1879
45 cm
72 cm
© Dinu Bumbaru / © Héritage Montréal


1671-1823

A rural landscape

In the mid-eighteenth century, the territory - bordered to the south by the Saint Martin River - was occupied by large homestead properties that fed Ville-Marie.

After Montreal fell to the British, the Viger and Papineau families, major landowners in the area, donated those and other plots of land, including the sites of the future Viger Square and Saint-Jacques Church, to the city. What is now Saint-Denis Street was built in the early 19th century, serving as a thoroughfare between the fortified town and the villages on what is now the Plateau. Rich French-Canadian families built their homes here.

Image : HM_ARC_005202

Atlas of the City and Island of Montreal Canada, Plate F
1879
45 cm
72 cm
© Dinu Bumbaru / © Héritage Montréal


1824 1852

1824-1852

A bourgeois French-Canadian neighbourhood

With the inauguration of Saint-Jacques Church in 1823, the presence here of the French-Canadian bourgeoisie was solidified. The Francophone worthies who remained after the fall of the French Régime came together to worship in what was Montreal's first Catholic cathedral. They built luxurious homes on adjacent streets and began to systematically establish the foundations of their society: religion, culture, education, and politics. The avenues were lined with trees and, in winter, the neighbourhood children slid down Côte-à-Barron. In 1848, a water reservoir was built on top of that hill; unfortunately, it was empty for repairs when the great fire of 1852 devastated the city.

Image : HM_ARC_002771

Église Saint-Jacques, between 1930-1960, before the construction of UQAM
Between 1930-1960
17.7 cm
12.7 cm
© Université du Québec à Montréal. Service des archives et de gestion des documents. Fonds d’archives du Service des communications (45U-412:F3:02/3), © Héritage Montréal


1824-1852

A bourgeois French-Canadian neighbourhood

With the inauguration of Saint-Jacques Church in 1823, the presence here of the French-Canadian bourgeoisie was solidified. The Francophone worthies who remained after the fall of the French Régime came together to worship in what was Montreal's first Catholic cathedral. They built luxurious homes on adjacent streets and began to systematically establish the foundations of their society: religion, culture, education, and politics. The avenues were lined with trees and, in winter, the neighbourhood children slid down Côte-à-Barron. In 1848, a water reservoir was built on top of that hill; unfortunately, it was empty for repairs when the great fire of 1852 devastated the city.

Image : HM_ARC_004254

Saint-Louis Square and Saint-Denis street partial view

© Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, Albums de rues E.-Z. Massicotte – MAS 6-8-e, © Héritage Montréal


Image : HM_ARC_004496

Few houses surrounding the Saint-Louis Square

15.9 cm
11.4 cm
© Ville de Montréal. Gestion de documents et archives (VM94-D 1901.174(5)), © Héritage Montréal


1853 1930

1853-1930

A glorious century

Like everywhere else in Montreal, the Latin Quarter gradually became more urbanized. After the great fire of 1852, new construction focused on row houses with mansard and then flat roofs and fire barrier walls.

The vibrant neighbourhood enjoyed undeniable prestige and cultural vitality. Renowned institutions located in and around the area included the Université Laval à Montréal (thanks to Bishop Ignace Bourget), the École des Hautes Études Commerciales, the École Polytechnique, the Le Plateau School, the Mont-Saint-Louis College, the Monument National, the Sainte-Marie College, the Palestre Nationale, the École des Beaux-Arts, and the Saint-Sulpice library.

During the 1850s and up until 1880, the French-Canadian elite congregated around Viger Square. When the potable water reservoir became inadequate and was replaced by a park - Saint-Louis Square - the upper middle class migrated to this new location. All around the square, they built Second Empire homes faced with Montreal greystone.

Many religious communities settled in this area, including the Soeurs du Bon Pasteur, the Soeurs de la Miséricorde, the Soeurs de la Providence, and the Frères des Écoles chrétiennes, while the Holy Trinity Memorial Anglican church (1864) and the Royal Alexandra School revealed the presence of the British. New buildings confirm the renown of the Latin Quarter: banks, businesses such as Dupuis Frères, and Beaux-Arts skyscrapers.

Image : HM_ARC_002767

Saint-Denis Street towards De Maisonneuve Boulevard
1979
12.7 cm
20.3 cm
© Université du Québec à Montréal. Service des archives et de gestion des documents. Fonds d’archives du Service des communications ()45U-812:F3:04-10(3)), © Héritage Montréal


1853-1930

A glorious century

Like everywhere else in Montreal, the Latin Quarter gradually became more urbanized. After the great fire of 1852, new construction focused on row houses with mansard and then flat roofs and fire barrier walls.

The vibrant neighbourhood enjoyed undeniable prestige and cultural vitality. Renowned institutions located in and around the area included the Université Laval à Montréal (thanks to Bishop Ignace Bourget), the École des Hautes Études Commerciales, the École Polytechnique, the Le Plateau School, the Mont-Saint-Louis College, the Monument National, the Sainte-Marie College, the Palestre Nationale, the École des Beaux-Arts, and the Saint-Sulpice library.

During the 1850s and up until 1880, the French-Canadian elite congregated around Viger Square. When the potable water reservoir became inadequate and was replaced by a park - Saint-Louis Square - the upper middle class migrated to this new location. All around the square, they built Second Empire homes faced with Montreal greystone.

Many religious communities settled in this area, including the Soeurs du Bon Pasteur, the Soeurs de la Miséricorde, the Soeurs de la Providence, and the Frères des Écoles chrétiennes, while the Holy Trinity Memorial Anglican church (1864) and the Royal Alexandra School revealed the presence of the British. New buildings confirm the renown of the Latin Quarter: banks, businesses such as Dupuis Frères, and Beaux-Arts skyscrapers.

Image : HM_ARC_004559

Former HEC building, front view
1976
11.4 cm
16.5 cm
© Ville de Montréal. Gestion de documents et archives (R-3886.2 (535 est).009), © Héritage Montréal


Image : HM_ARC_001919

Polytechnical School

8.8 cm
14 cm
© Dinu Bumbaru, © Héritage Montréal


Image : HM_ARC_002380

Main building of Université Laval à Montréal, Saint-Denis Street

© Division des archives de l'Université de Montréal, © Héritage Montréal


Image : HM_ARC_004395

Saint-Sulpice Library

© Ville de Montréal. Gestion de documents et archives (R-3115.2 (1700).007), © Héritage Montréal


Image : HM_ARC_003578

Viger Square

© Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, Albums de rues E.-Z. Massicotte – MAS 8-146-e, © Héritage Montréal


Image : HM_ARC_002257

Collège Mont-Saint-Louis, facade

8.8 cm
13.8 cm
© Frères des écoles chrétiennes, © Héritage Montréal


Image : HM_ARC_001895

Place Viger Square

8.8 cm
13.7 cm
© Dinu Bumbaru, © Héritage Montréal


Image : HM_ARC_003656

Corner of Sainte-Catherine and Saint-Denis

© Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, © Héritage Montréal


1931 1986

1931-1986

From urban decline to renewal projects

In the wake of the Great Depression, the neighbourhood began to lose its prestige. The French-Canadian upper middle class had begun moving to Outremont in the 1920s, and institutions such as the Université de Montréal (1940s), the École des Hautes Études Commerciales, and the École Polytechnique (1958) moved to the other side of the mountain. The neighbourhood began to show its age, and rooming houses took over the magnificent Victorian homes.

In 1954, Jean Drapeau was elected mayor of Montreal - a position he held for almost thirty years. During his mandate, many construction projects were launched: UQAM in 1978 on the former site of the Université Laval à Montréal, the Ville-Marie Expressway, the Cégep du Vieux Montréal, the Institut de tourisme et d'hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ), and Place Dupuis. The sector's student and cultural life was also revived, with the appearance of bistros, trendy shops, and restaurants.

Unfortunately, some of the area's landmarks began to disappear, with the destruction of beautiful homes and the redevelopment of public spaces such as Viger Square.

Image : HM_ARC_002757

Sketch - Education pavilion (UQAM)
1989
20.3 cm
25.4 cm
© Université du Québec à Montréal. Service des archives et de gestion des documents. Fonds d’archives du Service des communications (45U-412:F6:08/1), © Héritage Montréal


1931-1986

From urban decline to renewal projects

In the wake of the Great Depression, the neighbourhood began to lose its prestige. The French-Canadian upper middle class had begun moving to Outremont in the 1920s, and institutions such as the Université de Montréal (1940s), the École des Hautes Études Commerciales, and the École Polytechnique (1958) moved to the other side of the mountain. The neighbourhood began to show its age, and rooming houses took over the magnificent Victorian homes.

In 1954, Jean Drapeau was elected mayor of Montreal - a position he held for almost thirty years. During his mandate, many construction projects were launched: UQAM in 1978 on the former site of the Université Laval à Montréal, the Ville-Marie Expressway, the Cégep du Vieux Montréal, the Institut de tourisme et d'hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ), and Place Dupuis. The sector's student and cultural life was also revived, with the appearance of bistros, trendy shops, and restaurants.

Unfortunately, some of the area's landmarks began to disappear, with the destruction of beautiful homes and the redevelopment of public spaces such as Viger Square.

Image : HM_ARC_002721

Entrance to Berri-de-Montigny metro during the construction of UQAM with view of the Place Dupuis

2.3 cm
3.4 cm
© Fonds de Commission de transport de Montréal, Archives de la STM (S10/10.1.16,4), © Héritage Montréal


Image : HM_ARC_002758

Construction of pavilions for Phase I, UQAM
December 17 1977
20.3 cm
25.4 cm
© Université du Québec à Montréal. Service des archives et de gestion des documents. Fonds d’archives du Service des communications (45U-412:F6:04/1), © Héritage Montréal


Image : HM_ARC_004519

Aerial view of UQAM - Église Saint-Jacques (after renovations)

12.7 cm
17.8 cm
© Ville de Montréal. Gestion de documents et archives (R-3115.2 (1415) (1966 à …).012), © Héritage Montréal


Image : HM_ARC_000526

Station Sherbrooke et Institut de tourisme et d'hôtellerie du Québec



Image : HM_ARC_004470

Viger Square, people seated on benches

© Ville de Montréal. Gestion de documents et archives (VM94-A-6-9), © Héritage Montréal


Image : HM_ARC_002760

Aerial view of Saint-Denis Street and UQAM
1988
20.3 cm
20.3 cm
© Université du Québec à Montréal. Service des archives et de gestion des documents. Fonds d’archives du Service des communications (45U-414:F3:02/9), © Héritage Montréal


Image : HM_ARC_002767

Saint-Denis Street towards De Maisonneuve Boulevard
1979
12.7 cm
20.3 cm
© Université du Québec à Montréal. Service des archives et de gestion des documents. Fonds d’archives du Service des communications ()45U-812:F3:04-10(3)), © Héritage Montréal


1987 2008

1987-2008

A lively intellectual and cultural milieu

Today, the Latin Quarter is a rich but heterogeneous architectural aggregate. Many of its buildings have been renovated (ITHQ in 2005), converted (the Mont Saint-Louis was converted to condos in 1987), or entirely rebuilt (the Grande Bibliothèque). As in the 19th century, it is once again a vibrant student district centred on Saint Denis Street.

Image : HM_ARC_003694

Saint-Luc Hospital, view of the north wing (corner of René-Lévesque and Saint-Denis)

10.1 cm
12.6 cm
© Hôpital Saint-Luc du CHUM, © Héritage Montréal


1987-2008

A lively intellectual and cultural milieu

Today, the Latin Quarter is a rich but heterogeneous architectural aggregate. Many of its buildings have been renovated (ITHQ in 2005), converted (the Mont Saint-Louis was converted to condos in 1987), or entirely rebuilt (the Grande Bibliothèque). As in the 19th century, it is once again a vibrant student district centred on Saint Denis Street.

Image : HM_ARC_003462

La Cinémathèque québécoise, model of the project from 1995

© La Cinémathèque québécoise, © Héritage Montréal


Image : HM_ARC_002266

Collège Mont-Saint-Louis and surrounding houses

18.7 cm
14.5 cm
© Frères des écoles chrétiennes, © Héritage Montréal