The Golden Square Mile
(French: "Le Mille Carré Doré
") was the name of a luxurious neighbourhood
at the foot of Mount Royal
in the west-central section of downtown Montreal
. The Square Mile, as a neighbourhood, is generally understood to have existed between 1875 and 1930, at which point, in the face of economic hardship and an increasingly desperate situation in Depression-era Montreal (along with a dawning automobile era, and a desire for more modern homes), many of the former occupants decamped for Westmount
and other areas.
From roughly 1850, wealthier families began to migrate out of Montreal's increasingly congested port and downtown core, to settle in new suburban areas built on land formerly given to farming. Of these new areas, the most prestigious were those along the southern slopes of Mount Royal, along Sherbrooke Street
west (then little more than a country road); and around McGill University
. This would become the core of the Square Mile.
In principle, the neighbourhood had precise borders measuring roughly a square mile, covering the area between Dorchester Boulevard (today's Boulevard René-Lévesque
) at the southern end, Pine Avenue at the foot of Mount Royal at the northern end, University Street at the eastern end, and Guy Street at the western end. In effect, however, the Square Mile covered the far smaller territory between Sherbrooke Street and Pine Avenue (between Guy and University streets), an area that covered... Read More