The name 'Canebière' ('Canabiera' in Provençal dialect) comes from the word Cannabis in Latin, as the area around the Old Port were originally hemp fields and Marseille was one of the world's largest trader of hemp baskets and ropes from the Middle Ages until the 1930s, when other fibers were used instead.
At the end of the eighteenth century, as the Grand Arsenal shipbuilding dock was demolished, the avenue was extended down to the Old Port and elegant buildings were built. Only as late as 1928 was it extended from the Old Port to the Église Saint-Vincent-de-Paul (also known as the Église des Réformés).
During the French Third Republic (1871-1940), it became a haven for high society, with many cafés, luxury hotels and boutiques, and music hall performances. However, it was marred by the assassination of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia on the avenu on October 9, 1934. That day, French foreign minister Louis Barthou was fatally wounded as a result of this incident. Moreover, on October 28, 1938, the Nouvelles Galeries store was destroyed by fire, killing 75. The tragedy lead to reorganisation of Marseille's firefighters battalion, and the mayor Henri Tasso was dismissed.
The new Line T2 of the Tramway de Marseille runs along La Canebière between Rue de Rome/Cours Belsunce and Réformés. Noailles (M2) and Vieux-Port (M1) metro stations are located along the street.
- Marseille Tourist Office: The Canebière
- Dana Facaros, Michael Pauls, Provence, New Holland Publishers, 2004, p. 171 
- Adrien Blés, Dictionnaire historique des rues de Marseille, Jeanne Laffitte (ed.), Marseille, 1989, p. 98
- Britannica: La Canebière
- Predrag Matvejević, Mediterranean: A Cultural Landscape, University of California Press, 1999, p. 59 
- Provence and the Cote D'Azur, Lonely Planet, 2010, p. 48