Back in October, on one of those unseasonably warm and humid days we had towards the end of fall, I was on the 129 bus heading west to Victoria Avenue when I noticed three odd streets on the south side of Côte Ste. Catherine. Unusually for streets in Côte des Neiges, which tend to be very wide, they appeared to consist of nothing more than a simple pathway surrounded by greenery.
Later, I returned to investigate and discovered that the streets I had seen were Beaminster Place, Bradford Place and Campden Place, a trio of block-long passages tucked behind Côte-Sainte-Catherine metro. Lined by relatively modern four-plexes, they were open only to pedestrians, with a single narrow strip of pavement running between lush front yards. Residents parked their cars in the exceptionally wide laneways that ran between the streets.
In Côte des Neiges, a patchwork of different neighbourhoods built at different times throughout the twentieth century, I’ve come to expect urban planning oddities. But these three “places” were unlike anything I’d seen in Montreal before. According to the city’s property records, the houses along Beaminster, Bradford and Campden were all built between 1936 and 1951. Architecturally, they’re pretty much indistinguishable from any of the 1930s- and 40s-era houses in the west end; it’s their setting that makes them so unique.
I’m not savvy enough to find out who built these three streets and, more importantly, why they were built with such a distinct configuration. Are these the failed remnants of a grandiose plan to build Côte des Neiges as a vast Garden City? Or are they simply the whim of a single property developer who wanted his parcel of land to stand out from the rest? I’m turning to you: do you know anything about Beaminster, Bradford and Campden Places?
Click here to see more photos of the three “places.”
UPDATE: Thanks to one of our regular readers, Martin Bérubé, I now have the answer to my question. Here’s the City of Montreal’s own background on the three streets in Côte des Neiges:
Place Beaminster : Cette voie fait partie d’un ensemble réalisé par la Compagnie Terrace Construction en 1936. Le projet résidentiel prévoie alors la construction d’un ensemble de quarante-huit duplex auquel les promoteurs donnent le nom de «Cotswold Village». Ce nom et celui des voies prévues (Campden, Bradford) reprennent les mêmes dénominations que celles d’un village d’Angleterre; ils identifient également des villes du Gloucestershire et du Yorkshire anglais.
Beaminster Place: This street forms part of a subdivision built in 1936 by the Terrace Construction Company. This residential project, named Cotswold Village by the developers, included the construction of forty-eight duplexes. Beaminster and its neighbouring streets, Campden and Bradford, were named after a village in England and cities in Gloucestershire and Yorkshire.