The Montreal Underground City is one of the most unique and distinctive elements of this capital city of Quebec. There are already numerous events, festivals, and activities going on above ground in this cosmopolitan city, and the vast network of tunnels below only add to the dynamic experience of being in Montreal. The word tunnel here can be somewhat misleading. Architecturally and technically they are tunnels, but some are wide enough to have multi-tier shops on either side. The Montreal Underground City is actually a vast network of interconnected facilities that span over 20 miles of tunnels across 4.6 miles, and also include connected above-ground facilities, including museums, galleries, hotels, condos, shopping malls, seven metro stations, as well as two commuter train stations. Shopping in Montreal Underground is a unique experience that anyone traveling to the city for such activities must experience. You will find everything from clothing and accessories to home wares and electronics.
You really get a sense for the breadth and scope of the Montreal Underground City when you find out that there are 120 exterior access points. It is a perfect retreat for residents and visitors of the city alike, both in the summer and the winter. Montreal is certainly known for its unpredictable and sometimes extreme weather. Upwards of 500,000 people use the Montreal Underground City facilities per day, many to shield themselves from the heat of the sun in the summer or the extreme conditions of the cold Canadian winter in Quebec. Montreal Underground adds an entirely different dimension to the city, causing people to refer to Montreal as the Double-Decker City. And there is good reason why it is called the Montreal Underground City and not the Montreal Underground town or village. It is simply huge. There are over 1,600 boutiques, 200 restaurants, 30 cinemas, 1,500 apartments, and convenient connection points to metro stops that can have you off to virtually any corner of the city in a matter of minutes.
Some of the most popular places for shopping in Montreal Underground are the major shopping complexes of the Eaton Centre and the Place Canada Trust. The Eaton Centre is home to some 175 shops, 30 restaurants, and a nice mixture of cinemas and other entertainment-related venues. Unbelievably, the Eaton Centre itself draws around 20 million patrons every year, many of who shop regularly as residents of the city. The Place Montreal Trust provides even more great opportunities for shopping in Montreal Underground. It is located at the corner of St. Catherine Street (a massive shopping epicenter in the city) and McGill College Avenue. This huge shopping complex also features hundreds of shops and numerous restaurants, eateries, and cafes spread out over 320,000 square feet. Nearby attractions include the Montreal Biodome, the Montreal Botanic Garden, and the Bell Centre (which is also connected to the Montreal Underground City).
If you are planning a trip to Montreal and have begun to do your research, you probably already know just how much there is to do and see in the city. The Montreal Underground City is just more aspect of what makes this destination so popular among the people who live and visit there.
Image: Jimmy Hamelin