Salvation in the Underground City

This is a delayed post, and my apologies for the lull in entries around the holidays! Jon and I returned to Ohio to spend the holidays with each of our families, and had a wonderful time catching up with everyone, cooking and baking and candlestick-making (okay, maybe not the candlestick-making part), and then gorging ourselves on all those homemade holiday goodies. We hope you had a wonderful holiday, too!

I’m sure we’ll return to the topic of the Underground City again in this blog, but I thought I’d write a quick entry about how we were saved by this wonderful feature of Montreal when it came to our holiday shopping this year.

So here’s the story: While we were definitely not alone, Jon and I both procrastinated this year on buying presents (though I have been looking for gifts since early fall, so I’m baffled how it ended up so last minute). Surprise, surprise, it gets down to the wire and we are at the point where we have to get the rest of the presents or we will be experiencing a serious shortage in Christmas gifts for various members of the family.

The morning of our “last chance” shopping day, Montreal looked like this:

snowstorm

We tromped through the foot or so of snow and grabbed breakfast at a little café nearby, where we quickly realized that heading downtown via St. Catherine was not an option, and resolved to trudge to the metro so that we could finish up what was left of our holiday shopping inside the cozy warmth of the Underground City.

Eaton Center

photos courtesy of Flickr users imapix (top image) and Quan Nguyen (bottom image).

The “city” connects the different malls downtown that are clustered together via underground passageways lined with shops and multiple different subway stops. The result is a winding maze of shops, restaurants, all kinds of businesses (from hair salons to shoe repair to key cutting and beyond), and more. Long hallways open out into huge, spacious malls like the Eaton Center, pictured above.

It’s amazing, and easy for the newcomer to get lost if you don’t refer to the maps and keep track of where you bit. It doesn’t have the same je ne sais quoi of other Montreal shopping areas, like the charm of St. Denis and Mont Royal and St. Henri, and so many other places in Montreal, but it is vast and wonderful nonetheless. A haven of commercialism and consumerism.

More info about the Underground City here.

Maps of the Underground City:

http://www.ovi.umontreal.ca/documents/ovi_plan.pdf

http://www.stm.info/English/metro/souterrain2006.pdf

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1 Comment

Filed under Adventures, Shopping, Sites

One response to “Salvation in the Underground City

  1. Hi Jen and Jon,
    Just catching up on your posting to the blog in January about the Underground. Mom and I will need to see it on our next visit. It really sounds neat and very unique.

    We hope all is well and not too cold in the Canadian tundra. We need to compare notes and lock in a date to meet you guys on Cape Cod. Let us know what is best for you.

    Lots from love from the sunny south,

    Dad aka Marko

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