Ontario Street (Montreal)

Ontario Street (officially in French: rue Ontario) is an east-west artery in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It crosses the boroughs of Ville-Marie and Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. It is in the latter that the street becomes predominantly commercial and is known as Promenade Ontario.

Two metro stations are located on Ontario Street: Place des Arts and Frontenac. The STM runs the 125 bus along this street.

President Kennedy Avenue

Ontario Street is called President Kennedy Avenue (French: avenue du Président-Kennedy) west of Saint-Urbain Street in Downtown Montreal. President Kennedy Avenue is home to various hotels and condominiums. This portion of the street is named after the 35th U.S. President, John F. Kennedy.


John S. Cartwright, a banker from Kingston, Ontario and J. B. Forsyth, a local merchant, purchased and subdivided the farm of Sir John Johnson in the north part of the Faubourg Quebec. They gave the three new streets the names of three different Great Lakes: Erie, Huron and Ontario. Ontario Street was later extended in stages toward both the east and west. Until 1948, it was believed that the street was named after the province of Ontario, but the discovery of the subdivision documents by a city of Montreal historian corrected this inaccuracy. Although it had been known as Ontario Street since 1842, the name was made official in 1867.

The street fell into economic decline by the 1980s, leading to many closed businesses and a high poverty rate. Since the 2000s it has experienced significant gentrification, in part due to the expansion of the village on the downtown section of the street, and Place Simon Valois in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve.[1]

The street is the subject of Bernard AdamusRue Ontario, a 2010 single, portraying the street is a generally unfavorable way.

Further reading

  • Ville de Montréal. Les rues de Montréal. Répertoire historique. Montréal,Méridien, 1995, p. 360


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