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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Montréal Monday: New life for the Mile End garment district, the Moving Day mess, and close, but no cigar

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Each Monday, Spacing will bring you some of the popular posts from our sister blog, Spacing Montréal. We’ll keep an eye open for topics and discussions that are pertinent to current public space issues in Toronto.

• Starting this summer Montréal will be investing around $9 million to refurbish the Mile End garment district. The district was once a textile manufacturing hub, but manufacturing jobs have been leaving the area steadily for several years now. The city hopes to spark a commercial and residential redevelopment of the area by sprucing it up for prospective investors, but Chirstopher DeWolf thinks attention must also be paid to the many artists and arts-related enterprises currently residing in the Mile End garment district.

• 115,000 households changed house on Moving Day, a Québec tradition that takes place every year on July 1. In the aftermath Montréal streets and alleys fill-up with things that people do not wish to take with them to their new homes. Is the ensuing Moving Day pileup merely an example of western excess, or a citywide furniture-free-for-all for thrifty Montréalers?

• In her post, Close, but no cigar, Julie Fournier looks at the cramped bicycle parking conditions on Montréal’s sidewalks, where parking posts with bike rings are out of the way of pedestrian traffic, but are sometimes placed too close to adjacent buildings to secure more than one bicycle.

Photo by Christopher DeWolf



  1. 115,000 households changed house on Moving Day, a Québec tradition that takes place every year on July 1.

    Moving Day is a Montreal tradition. It is not Quebec-wide.

    Montreal and Quebec are, in English, spelled with an unaccented e. (Similarly, London, England is, in French, referred to as Londres. Different language, different spelling.)

    Your Montreal guy, Christopher DeWolf, makes neither of these errors. You might consider following his lead.

  2. Disparishun > I checked several sources that stated that Moving Day was province wide. Embedded in the post (click on Moving Day) is a link to a CBC article that says: “Every year in Quebec, thousands and thousands of people pack up and move on July 1. It’s a 30-year tradition in this province.” There are also other sources on-line that indicate the same thing.

    My apologies if I am mistaken.

  3. Ah ha, the age old internet tradition of some anonymous guy telling you how to spell things. Canada goes back and forth, lighten up language cop.

  4. Matthew, you are right! And I had to move to Toronto to find this out … Wikipedia does a good job of telling the story, which begins in 1974. Apparently it’s especially big in Montreal and Quebec City, but has also stuck around a little bit in the rest of the province.

    Jen — do relax. Here, the spelling of Montreal and Quebec is about more than proper spelling; it has to do with recognizing that Montreal and Quebec exist in another language, too.

    But, then, if language and spelling are that irrelevant to you, surely you needn’t waste your time posting about it.

  5. I was in Quebec City the other day (on the day of the 400 bday party) and I saw moving trucks unloading and wondered if it was the remnants of Moving Day.