Underground City

The Underground City is a network of tunnels under the Montreal’s streets. It is an area that was built 40 years ago but is still growing in size even now. The reason that it was necessary and is so popular is that it provides a great shopping experience without the weather being an issue Montreal does tend to have extremes of weather which do not make shopping very much fun.

There are not only shops but also museums, hotels, restaurants and even train stations. It is quite amazing to think of this whole complex being underground the houses.

It was in 1962 when the underground way of life started. The Place Ville-Marie skyscraper built an underground shopping mall. It covered up railway tracks and linked the train to the Queen Elizabeth Hotel. The subway was opened four years later and then passages began to grow.

There are now many shops supplied by 18 miles of tunnels which is the largest underground shopping network in the world and over half a million people use it every. With 1600 shops and apartments, it is not surprising that it is so busy.

The subway stations are well worth a visit as each of them is their own art work. For each of the stations built, 1% of the budget was used for the art displayed there. Each station had a different architect design it which means that they are all unique which makes them very interesting to see.

There are 34 cinemas in the area, which means that there is plenty of entertainment. For eating you will find the 200 restaurants provide plenty of choice, perhaps too much! There are 120 access points from the surface which means that it is extremely easy to find and get in but you may never need to leave with so many fantastic facilities.

The downtown section, which is called RESO has the train links to many other parts of the city. There are buildings above which house 80% of the offices in the city as well as some residential areas.

The more notable shopping centres are the ones neat to the McGill and Peel metro stations. They have a huge collection of things and will have everything a visitor would ever need as well as probably a great many things that they do not!

If you want to try some traditional food then the Quebec special is French fries covered with brown gravy and curd cheese. If you can stomach this then it should give you enough substance for even more shopping. There are plenty of other things to choose from though, if you fancy something different! Under the tallest building in the city you will find the indoor skating rink which is open all year around.

The underground complex may sound rather artificial and claustrophobic but there are lots of skylights bringing the natural light underground. There are also big atriums which provide a great sense of space. With the weather in Montreal going from extremely cold in winter to very hot in summer, this underground area means that no matter what the weather is, you can shop without worry.

Some of the main shopping areas are the Centre Eaton, Place Montreal, Complexe Les Ailes and Le Cours Mont-Royal. Despite so much being underground, the city still has plenty to see above ground. You may like to take a look from Altitude 737 which is a bar above ground which has panoramic views of the city, the city that is hiding so much beneath its surface.