Beneath the bustling streets and charming cafe’s of Montreal, there lies a secret. A cavernous system of tunnels that sprawls out like a vast maze with no end in sight. Many people have entered these catacombs and never returned, resigned to a life of wandering from mall to mall, bankrupt and weary, they pine for a glimpse of sunshine that never comes.
Actually, only part of that statement was true. The Montreal Underground is a world renowned infrastructure that connects many of the major business and commercial centers of downtown with the Metro system.
Pictured above is a typical tunnel that would connect a Metro stop to a variety of shops, hotels, or office towers.
Through the Underground, there are small retail shops. Mostly independent in nature, you won’t be able to get a new pair of Kenneth Cole shoes, but you can often find bargains on purses, luggage, jewelry and apparel. There are also many service oriented shops such as dry cleaners, shoe repair shops and medical clinics.
For Jen and I this system is invaluable, especially in the long winter months. After short two block walk to the Metro station, I can get all the way to Windsor Station where my office is located without stepping outside again. From there, I can get to every mall downtown if I need to run errands during lunch without braving the cold or even taking my coat.
The Underground is not all gloomy and isolated either. You will often come across atriums such as the one pictured above that let natural light shine in and reconnect you with the world above.
I have actually been asked by tourists downtown, “where is the Montreal Underground?”
I resist the urge to reply, “…below you.”