Montreal audio tour: Mile End meets Outremont

Mile End meets Outremont

Walking Tour

|
30 mins
|
1.1mi

About the Tour

This is a place where artisans and musicians live side by side with new families and old immigrants. It's a real, working neighbourhood where you're likely to see old men gossiping on the street corner the way they've done for fifty years, musicians hoisting cellos past the flower shops, Hassidic men in big fur hats carrying prayer shawls, and children yammering in three languages as they ride their scooters to neighbourhood schools. You'll find independent bookshops, vintage stores, funky young designers and artisanal bakers and chocolatiers. There's always a bench to pause and people-watch, and there are plenty of shade-trees, some bearing cherries and pears. This is one of the best neighbourhoods in Canada to feel how electric an urban space can be when it defies homogenization.

This is the beating heart of Mile-End, whose bagel shops, balcony life and cultural ferment have been immortalized by author Mordecai Richler and by new Montreal writers Saleema Nawaz, Sean Michaels and Heather O'Neill.

You'll hear French mingle with English, Polish and Italian, as well as Montreal's own Franco/Anglo melange known as Franglais. You won't be able to resist tantalizing scents of hot bagels baked on wood fires, Portugese chicken skewered over coals, or fresh-ground espresso and buttery croissants.

Check it out for yourself!

Tour Producer

avatar

Kathleen Winter

Kathleen Winter is an English-Canadian short story writer and novelist. Born in the north of England and raised in Newfoundland and Labrador, she began her career as a script writer for Sesame Street before becoming a columnist for The Telegram in St. John's.

Winter's debut short story collection, boYs, was published in 2007 and won that year's Winterset Award and Metcalf-Rooke Award. Her novel Annabel was published in 2010, and won the Thomas Head Raddall Award. It was a shortlisted nominee for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and the 2010 Governor General's Awards.It held the distinction of being the only novel to make the short list of all three awards in 2010. In 2011 it was shortlisted for the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction. In 2014 it was chosen for the Canada Reads competition, where it was championed by actress Sarah Gadon.

A second book of short stories, The Freedom in American Songs, was released in 2014, along with a nonfiction book entitled Boundless: Tracing Land and Dream in a New Northwest Passage. Boundless was a shortlisted nominee for the 2014 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

Winter lives in Montreal with her husband, Jean. She is also the sister of novelist Michael Winter.

Major Landmarks

  • Rialto Theatre Montreal

  • Church of St. Michael and St. Anthony

Directions to Starting Point

Take the Parc bus, #80 north from Metro (subway) station Place des Arts. Get out at the corner of Parc and Bernard. Our first stop, Rialto Theatre, is on the block just before the intersection so all you need to do is turn around and face back down the way the bus came up. You're already on the right side of the road.

Show Directions
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Tips

Places to stop along the way

St.-Viateur Bagel, S.W. Welch's Books, Latina Epicerie, Club Social, Cafe Olimpico, Kay Vintage Friperie, Drawn & Quarterly

Best time of day

Noon until evening, early May to mid-October

Precautions

Use designated crosswalks and lights. It's safer, and Montreal cops sometimes go a bit overboard issuing jaywalking tickets. Watch out for skateboarders and scooters on the sidewalks, as well as the odd cyclist.

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