Crescent Street

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Crescent Street
French: rue Crescent
Montreal - Rue Crescent.jpg
Crescent Street looking northward.
Length0.6 km (0.4 mi)
LocationBetween Sherbrooke Street and René Lévesque Boulevard
Coordinates45°29′52″N 73°34′36″W / 45.497640°N 73.576646°W / 45.497640; -73.576646
Construction start1860s

Crescent Street (officially in French: rue Crescent) is a southbound street located in downtown Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Running perpendicular to Saint Catherine Street, Crescent Street descends from Sherbrooke Street south to René Lévesque Boulevard.

Crescent Street is a popular attraction for both tourists and locals alike. North of De Maisonneuve Boulevard, one can find many luxury boutiques and art galleries in a Victorian architectural setting. To the south of de Maisonneuve the concentration of nightclubs, bars and restaurants makes Crescent Street one Montreal's most well-known nightlife strips.


The street which opened around 1860, was originally in the form of a crescent, and was located just north of Dorchester Boulevard.

The first bar on Crescent Street opened in 1967.[1] Prior to that year, the street was home mainly to professional offices. The first bar was the Sir Winston Churchill Pub,[1][2] a pub partly owned by Johnny Vago a Hungarian immigrant who once participated in the Cuban Revolution. Vago's discotheque, originally known as the Don Juan, was first located on nearby Stanley Street. It relocated as a basement pub (sans the dance floor) on Crescent after the Stanley street building's basement had to be re-engineered, as parts of the Don Juan's dance floor had begun to fall into the Montreal Metro tunnel then being dug right beside it.

A few months later, the basement of the adjoining Crescent street building was opened up as the "Boiler Room", a somewhat noisier pub, replete with large "quart" (22 oz.) bottles of beer, cheaper meals, a dance floor, and with its jukebox, catering more to the local students and bohemian crowd, leaving the original Winston Churchill as a quieter pub for the older crowd. The two bars were served by a common kitchen.

Another key business on the street in the 1970s was Librairie L'Androgyne, the city's first LGBT-oriented bookstore.[3]

A few years later (c1975), the Boiler Room was closed and redone by Vago as an extension to the Winston Churchill, but keeping the Boiler Room's dance floor. From there, still a few years later, the Winston Churchill expanded upstairs to the first and then the 2nd floors of the building, and eventually became a very large restaurant and bar complex, occupying the whole building.

Vago eventually ended up owning many bars on the block, although has since sold his businesses.[4]

Given the success of the first establishment, other restaurants and bars would settle in the mid-1970s.

Crescent Street merchants formed the Crescent Street Merchants Association in 1998 to promote the street's businesses.[5]

Beginning in the early 2000s, the Crescent Street Merchants Association have organized activities related to the city's sports and entertainment events. The most popular event is the Grand Prix Festival, which takes place each year at the time of the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix in June.


Looking northward on Crescent from south of Saint Catherine Street.

Crescent Street is home mostly to pubs, restaurants and night clubs. One such business is the popular Lebanese restaurant Boustan, located north of De Maisonneuve Boulevard.[6] Crescent Street is known for its night clubs that cater to both locals and tourists. Currently, the night clubs located on Crescent are: Karina, Aquarium, Copacabana, Electric Avenue, JET and XO Club Lounge.

Crescent Street was also home to the famous Russian restaurant The Troika which closed in April 2012 and has now replaced by the Brass Door Pub & Grill.

Grand Prix Festival[edit]

Crescent street merchants hold an annual street fair, known as the Grand Prix Festival, the week prior to the Formula One Canadian Grand Prix with open air free concerts, terrasses for the bars into the streets, street vendors, and racing displays. This festival unofficially kicks off Montreal's festival season.


  1. ^ a b "Sir Winston Churchill Pub". Archived from the original on 2 December 2011. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  2. ^ "History". Winnie's Bar. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  3. ^ "L’Androgyne ferme ses portes". Fugues, July 25, 2002.
  4. ^ Gravenor, Kristian; Gravenor, John David (2002). "Nightlife". Montreal: The Unknown City (First ed.). Vancouver, B.C.: Arsenal Pulp Press. p. 202. ISBN 9781551521190.
  5. ^ "About the Crescent Street Merchants Association". Crescent Street Merchants Association. Archived from the original on 20 May 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2012.
  6. ^ Brownstein, Bill (2012-03-25). "Popular Lebanese eatery changes hands". The Gazette. Postmedia Network. Archived from the original on 28 March 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2012.

Further reading[edit]

  • Ville de Montréal, Les rues de Montréal. Répertoire historique, Édition Méridien, 1995 (in French)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°29′52″N 73°34′36″W / 45.497640°N 73.576646°W / 45.497640; -73.576646