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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Willowdale Avenue

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There’s something serene about Willowdale Avenue, a broad residential street that runs from Édouard-Montpetit metro in the east to the Université de Montréal’s HEC in the west. It must be a combination of the thick foliage and unassuming architecture, apartment blocks on one side and Tudoresque houses on the other.

Although it is surrounded by Côte des Neiges, the oval streets signs along Willowdale remind you that it is, in fact, part of a little Outremont panhandle that juts west along Côte St. Catherine Road. It’s not the only remarkable thing about this street. While the apartment buildings on its north side are, at first glance, squat and dour, a closer look reveals them to be quietly playful, with art moderne curves and names like Modern Court and Canterbury.



  1. There are so many old apartment blocks with incredibly British names in this city.

  2. Funny, where I grew up — Windsor, Ontario — there were many apartments and streets with incredibly French names. Pronounced in the strangest ways, of course. Same in Detroit.

  3. I grew up a block away form Willowdale, but here in Toronto. It too is a charming street with many lovely low rises.

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