Saint Catherine Street

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This article is about the street in Montreal called rue Sainte-Catherine in French. For other streets of this name, see Rue Sainte-Catherine (disambiguation).

Rue Sainte-Catherine
St Cath.jpg
Sainte-Catherine Street, Downtown Montreal
Length 11.5 km (7.1 mi)
Location Between Notre-Dame Street and Claremont Avenue
Construction
Construction start 1801
A general view of Sainte-Catherine.

Saint Catherine Street (French: rue Sainte-Catherine) is the primary commercial artery of Downtown Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It crosses the central business district from west to east, beginning at the corner of Claremont Avenue and de Maisonneuve Boulevard in the city of Westmount, traversing the borough of Ville-Marie, and ending on Notre-Dame Street just east of Viau Street in the borough of Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve.

The street runs parallel to the largest segments of Montreal's underground city. The series of interconnected office tower basements and shopping complexes that make up this main thoroughfare lie immediately north of the street.

Educational institutions located on or near the street include Concordia University, McGill University, Université du Québec à Montréal, Dawson College and LaSalle College.

Retailers[edit]

Morgan's on Sainte-Catherine St., 1890.
La Baie/The Bay on Montreal's Saint Catherine Street as seen today, with Tour KPMG in the background
The entrance to the Eaton Centre on Saint Catherine St., Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Former Eaton's store now Complexe Les Ailes

Saint Catherine Street has been home to many of Montreal's prominent department stores, including such former retailers as Eaton's, Morgan's, Simpson's and Dupuis Freres. Today, the Morgan's building is home to Hudson's Bay Company, which acquired Morgan's in 1960. The Simpson's building is now shared by the La Maison Simons department store and a multiplex cinema, while Eaton's was converted to the Complexe Les Ailes. Dupuis Frères, located further east at Saint Catherine and Saint Hubert, is now a shopping mall and office complex.

The Ogilvy's department store remains a fixture on Saint Catherine Street, although it is now a collection of boutiques rather than a single store.

Other major retailers along the street including an Apple Store, AVEDA Experience Centre, Indigo Books and Music, Chapters, HMV Group, Archambault, La Senza, Future Shop, Roots, Adidas, Puma, Guess, Parasuco, Zara, Mango and an H&M flagship store at the corner of Peel and Saint Catherine. Additionally, many of Montreal's most prominent shopping complexes, including the Eaton Centre, Complexe Les Ailes, Place Montreal Trust, Promenades Cathédrale, les Cours Mont-Royal (a high fashion shopping mall), the Complexe Desjardins, Place Dupuis, Place Alexis Nihon, the Faubourg Sainte-Catherine and Westmount Square are all located along the street.

The Montreal Forum, once home to the Montreal Canadiens, is also located on Saint Catherine Street at Atwater Street. It has since been turned into a shopping and movie theatre complex called the Pepsi Forum. Due to the Forum's presence on this street, Saint Catherine was used as the parade route whenever the Canadiens won the Stanley Cup. This was once referred to as the usual route by Mayor Jean Drapeau, during the Canadiens' dynasties of the mid-century, when a win would occur quite frequently.

The segment in the district of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve is also an important commercial area in that neighbourhood.

Street closures[edit]

For one weekend in July every year, Saint Catherine Street hosts Canada's largest open-air sidewalk sale. 2 km (1 mi) of the street between Jeanne-Mance Street and St. Mark is closed to traffic, and vendors from nearby shopping centres bring out their sale merchandise. There is also live entertainment along the street. It is estimated that over 300 000 people visit the downtown during this event.[1]

Transit[edit]

The Green line of the Montreal Metro was built to serve Sainte-Catherine Street; however, to avoid disrupting traffic on the street, it was built one block to the north, under parts of Burnside Place, which once joined together, later became de Maisonneuve Boulevard. Bus service is provided by the STM's 15 Sainte-Catherine which operates 7 days a week.

Culture[edit]

Saint Catherine Street at Phillips Square, 1937
Former Capitol Theatre, 1925

Montreal's Place des Arts, the city's primary concert venue, is located on Saint Catherine Jeanne-Mance and Saint-Urbain streets, in the city's Quartier des Spectacles entertainment district. The street was once home to many now-abandoned cinemas such as the Loews, Palace, Capitol, Cinéma de Paris, York, Ouimetoscope and the Seville Theatre as well as the demolished Montreal Spectrum music venue.

Places of worship[edit]

The street is also home to Christ Church Cathedral, the only church in Canada that sits atop a shopping mall, Promenades Cathédrale; another important church, Saint James United Church, has recently had its concealing façade of commercial buildings removed. Other churches on the street include St. James the Apostle Anglican Church.

Gay Village[edit]

Main article: Gay Village, Montreal
A partial view of Montréal's Gay Village, with Métro Beaudry (subway) station at left long St. Catherine East

A Gay Village extends along Sainte-Catherine Street in the east end of downtown, between Saint-Hubert and Papineau. Beaudry metro station, on the Green Line, provides the most convenient access to the Village and sports a permanent rainbow decoration on its façade.

For most of the summer, from mid-May till mid-September, Sainte-Catherine Street is completely closed to traffic through the Gay Village, making it one large pedestrian area, allowing all the stores to sell outside and all the restaurants and bars to serve on large, open-air terrasses.

Summer is also punctuated with special events and festivals such as the art festival FIMA, Festival International Montréal en arts, Pride Celebrations and Divers/Cité.

Night life[edit]

The strip clubs which made their home on Saint Catherine have now declined in number, though a few prominent clubs, such as Supersexe and Super Contact, remain.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 45°30′36″N 73°33′49″W / 45.510129°N 73.56353°W / 45.510129; -73.56353