The Mile End

Mile End, Canada’s answer to Williamsburg?

It’s regarded as Montreal’s hipster Mecca, and not in any way to be confused with London’s grimy and crime-ridden Mile End (Which renowned Brit-pop band Pulp had something to say about).

Visible from a distance as a sea of rusting green domes standing guard over Eastern Montreal, you’ll find The Mile End littered with famous bagel bakeries, elusive cafes and vinyl shops that you can get lost in for hours.

Mile End as viewed from nearby Outremont

Thanks to our friend Diane for offering to give myself and Marilou a tour round this complex neighbourhood, I got a bit of an insider’s view as to what makes it tick.

Diane poses with Marilou.

If I had to define where Mile End is, I’d say it was loosely bounded by Blvd St Joseph in the south, St Laurent in the East, Parc Avenue in the west and the railway lines in the north. Easy to get to by Metro, it’s close to Laurier on the Orange Line, and Outremont on the Blue.

It’s also a bit of an artists’ recluse thanks to several old factories that have now been converted into creative studios. It also has a thriving and independent music scene, as well as one of my favourite Montreal pubs: “Dieu du Ciel!

Starting at the top, the view gives a hint as to the industrial history of the area.
One of the distinctive churches to be found in the area.
One of those winter intermissions, where you get a few days of rain before the snow returns.
Drawn & Quarterly on Rue Bernard.

Inside the book shop.
Everything you wanted to know about your favourite albums.
Spice Station, with its fantastic array of herbs and such.
No catnip though.
Sonorama, a good place to shop for vinyl.
Old Skool theatre on Avenue du Parc
If you like Montreal style bagels (which you should), then The Mile End is the place to be.
St-Viateur Bagel, helping to put Montreal on the bagel map.
Café Olympico always has long queues, but is apparently worth the wait.
Saint Patrick’s Basilica again.
Someone stole the phone from the TARDIS and put it in a cafe.
Ubisoft HQ. Montreal is a good place to be if you’re a games developer.
Coffee, in an uber secret Cafe.
Fairmount Bagel, another Montreal staple in the baked goods department.
This bridge will never fall down.

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