Whether you live there or not, the allure of Montreal shopping in the Underground City (10709 Racette., Montréal-Nord QC) is well known.
In lay terms, it’s really nothing more than a bunch of malls that are connected together. While it certainly does constitute “the largest underground city in the world,” and can be seen as nothing more than a necessity for the commuters who trek to and from work from within its 33 kilometers of indoor tunnels, it certainly is appealing on its own merit as well.
There are 1700 boutiques, 200 restaurants, 40 cinemas and exhibition halls available in the “underground city” and that’s not including the Latin Quarter which features a plethora of pubs and live shows.
The city was originally conceived by Vincent Ponte and the first link of the underground city began with the construction of the Place Ville-Marie office tower and underground shopping mall which was built in 1962 to cover a pit of railway tracks north of Central station. The Montreal metro in 1966 brought more tunnels, this time joining Bonaventure station to the Chateau Champlain hotel, the Place du Canada office tower, Place Bonaventure, Central Station, and Windsor Station, forming the core of the Underground City.
Between 1984 and 1992, the underground city expanded with the construction of three major shopping centres in the Peel and McGill metro station areas: Cours Mont-Royal, Place Montreal-Trust and the Promenades Cathedrale.
The underground city is definitely something to see, even if it is only for a little shopping.
Here’s a complete route map: