The Montreal Underground City (La Ville Souterraine or RESO)
No visit to Montreal is complete without a trip to the Montreal Underground City. The Montreal Underground City is a cornerstone of Montreal that is visited by over a quarter of a million people each day. Tourists often marvel at this incredible network located underneath the streets of Montreal. The Underground city contains hotels, restaurants, galleries,stores, rail stations, Metro stations,cinemas, nightclubs and even a library. This vast network runs under Montreal’s streets, crosses certain plazas and intersects with many Metro stations. Visitors can expect to find busy walkways along with quiet corners in this vast underground network.
Fun Facts about the Montreal Underground City
Montreal’s underground city consists of 32 km (20 miles) of tunnels spread over an area of twelve square kilometers of downtown Montreal. The underground city includes 60 residential and commercial complexes comprising 3.6 square kilometers of floor space, including 80% of all office space and 35% of all commercial space in the center. Services include hotels, shopping malls, banks, corporate headquarters, museums, university buildings, seven metro stations, two commuter train stations, and the Bell Centre hockey arena. There are more than 120 exterior access points to the underground city. Nearly 500,000 people use the underground city per day, especially to escape Montreal's harsh winters. In 2004 the Underground City was rebranded and given the name RESO. If you happen to visit Montreal during the cold winter months, the underground city can provide refuge from Montreal's cold winter days.
Montreal’s Underground City History
The Underground City began with passageways in and under Place Ville-Marie and it was completed in 1962. Additional tunnels were created to connect to the Central Station. Before you know it, other extensions were created and it has now become Montreal's busiest neighborhood. New shopping centers and exhibition centers were eventually added to the Underground city. Now the Underground city contains Place Bonaventure, Windsor Station, Les Cours mount-Royal, Place Montreal Trust, the Eaton Centre, Place de la Cathedrale, Complexe Les Ailes de la Mode, the Stock Exchange Tower and the World Trade Center to name a few. The underground city has become a large cornerstone of Montreal's tourism industry and one of Montreal's most popular attractions.
Access to Montreal's Underground City
You can access the Underground city from many metro stations, with the most popular station being McGill Metro. The Underground city is a great way to escape the season, regardless of when you visit Montreal. During the summer months, when it is too hot or humid, or during the winter months, when it is cold and frigid, the Underground city is a perfect place to get away from it all. You can view a map of the Montreal Underground City by clicking here
Shopping in the Montreal Underground City
For visitors looking to do some serious shopping, it doesn’t get any better than Montreal's Underground City. The Underground City is world-famous for its shopping centers. There are many great shopping malls located inside the Underground city. Some of the most famous shopping centers include:
You will find all the famous name-brands within these shopping complexes. Some of the big name stores such as The Gap, Old Navy, Jacob, Tommy, Guess, Zara, Mexx, Le Chateau, Aldo, can all be found in the Underground City.
Montreal’s RESO vs. Toronto’s PATH
Montreal's Underground City is often compared to Toronto's PATH Network. Montreal’s RESO has several several disconnected areas while Toronto’s PATH is constantly connected. Therefore, Montreal’s RESO has the largest underground system overall, however Toronto’s PATH is the longest continuous system. Currently, Toronto’s PATH is 27km while Montreal’s RESO is 32km.
Images of the Underground City
The Underground City (unknown)
Place Montreal Trust from The Underground City (unknown)
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