A Montreal Milestone

mile stone

Montreal’s oldest milestone, erected in 1684, now nearly blends in with a rock wall that was built centuries later. It would be easy to miss but for the dirty sheet of Plexiglas that protects it from the elements.

The stone marks 1 mile from the gates of Fort de la Montagne along Cote-Saint-Antoine road, and once signaled to farmers that they were approaching the market place. Cote-Saint-Antoine follows a trail originally used by Native Americans and was one of the first streets to be developed outside of the city walls.

mile stone

Thanks to Ingrid Birker, curator of McGill’s Redpath Museum, for bringing this to my attention during the fascinating Stones and Beer bike tour.

7 comments

  1. Can you give us a cross street, or a point on google Map :)

    I know I’m taking away from the fun of finding but this rock is actually fascinating.

  2. This is the only milestone that I know of…
    It is located near the corner of Forden Avenue and Cote Saint-Antoine (slightly west of Metcalf). I just double checked with gmaps pedometer – 1 mile from Sherbrooke and du Fort.

  3. BruB: the building in the distance on the right is Shaar Hashomayim, the synagogue on Cote St-Antoine, not far from where it forks off from Sherbrooke in Westmount. You’re looking at it from the other side here, though.

  4. Theoretically, they should be on all the major routes leading out from the old town of Montreal. However, whether they’re protected from being removed by law when an area is re-developed is a moot point. A marker that readily comes to mind is in Dorval on Lakeshore Road. It’s on the north (west bound) side and is a few metres west of Pine Beach Road. If memory serves me correctly it marks 11 miles from downtown or the edge of the Montreal limits. I seem to remember that the 10 mile one is in eastern Dorval somewhere near the Lachine boundary. This would be around the old Royal Montreal Golf Club Grounds now Queen of Angels Academy which in turn was near the old Dixie train station. Of course, Dixie comes from dix (10).

  5. This is an awesome photo. Thanks for posting! And thanks to DM for the additional info.

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