Montreal Underground City: What Lies Beneath Downtown Montreal

  • 01 of 11

    Underground City Photos: What Lies Beneath Downtown Montreal

    Montreal underground city photos.
    Emmanuel Joly / Getty Images

    Photos of the Largest Underground City in the World

    I'll be the first to admit the Montreal underground city's status as a must-see attraction is blown a bit out of proportion.

    From a tourist-who's-seen-it-all perspective, it's a bunch of malls connected together. And from many a local's point of view, the largest underground city in the world is but a practicality. Hundreds of thousands of daily commuters seek refuge from the winter cold as they trek to and from work in its 33 kilometres of climate-controlled tunnels, corridors, hotels, and shopping centres.

    But if you ask me, the underground has its charm. Parts of the network are stunning, a joy to walk through. If you can find them.

    Ironically, those same stretches are rarely, if ever seen in guidebooks or on the Internet, possibly because said corridors are mapped out like a labyrinth. As a result, many tourists, relocated newbies and even Montreal natives ignore these places exist. So as your humble guide, I...MORE thought it would be fun to show you the underground city's unsung nooks and crannies, especially since it's not always easy to find them. 

    There isn'y even a clear map of the underground city.

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  • 02 of 11

    Underground City Photos: Art Souterrain

    Art Souterrain is a Montreal underground city art event held every March.
    Photo courtesy of Art Souterrain © Catherine Dumont

    This photo here was taken inside the Centre de Commerce Mondial, otherwise known as the Montreal Trade Centre, during Art Souterrain, an annual event that turns Montreal's underground city into a sprawling art exhibit.

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  • 03 of 11

    Underground City: What Lies Beneath Downtown Montreal

    Montreal underground city photos.
    Some Montreal hotels connect directly to the underground city, allowing guests to shop downtown, travel on the subway, and head to conventions and special events without going outside. Photo courtesy of Intercontinenal Montreal

    Select Montreal hotels are directly connected to the underground city allowing guests to travel from Point A to Point B without setting foot outside, a boon on cold winter nights.

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  • 04 of 11

    Underground City Photos: Place Bonaventure

    Underground city photos of Montreal's Place Bonaventure, Montreal's second largest exhibition hall, a downtown building housing office space, featuring a hotel, and directly connecting to Montreal's underground city and central train station.
    Place Bonaventure is Montreal's second largest exhibition hall, a downtown building housing office space, featuring a hotel, and directly connecting to Montreal's underground city and central train station. Photo by Flickr user Alex Drainville (CC BY-NC 2.0)

    This section of Montreal's underground city is in Place Bonaventure, a building used primarily as an office building and convention centre completed in time for Expo '67 which in its heyday, ​was the largest concrete building in the world.

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  • 05 of 11

    Underground City: What Lies Beneath Downtown Montreal

    Montreal underground city photos: Place des Arts.
    Photo by Flickr user Retis (CC BY 2.0)

    Place des Arts, Montreal's largest performance arts complex, is connected to the underground city.

    The projections as seen above in its main corridor were captured on November 23, 2016. The project is called "Le public" and represents the emotional reactions of the audience as perceived by stage artists. It's a Baillat Cardell & Fils creation in collaboration with the illustrators Capucine Labarthe and Lino.

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  • 06 of 11

    Underground City: What Lies Beneath Downtown Montreal

    Montreal underground city in photos.
    Above: Complexe Desjardins is one of the Montreal Underground City's large connector buildings. Bruce Yuanyue Bi / Getty Images

    Located across the street from Place des Arts in the Quartier des Spectacles, Complexe Desjardins is one of the Montreal underground city's connector buildings. It's a mall, an events centre, an office building, and a hotel wrapped in one.

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  • 07 of 11

    Underground City: What Lies Beneath Downtown Montreal

    Inside Montreal's underground city: the quartier international.
    Emmanuel Joly / Getty Images

    The most intriguing sections of Montreal's underground city are its corridors, some of which look like they're straight out of a sci-fi flick. 

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  • 08 of 11

    Underground City: What Lies Beneath Downtown Montreal

    Underground city photos in Montreal.
    Above: inside Palais des congrès, Montreal's largest convention centre and part of the underground city. David Thompson / Getty Images

    Montreal convention centre Palais des congrès is a major part of the underground city, connecting pedestrians to Chinatown, Old Montreal, and the downtown core. Several hotels surround the convention centre.

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  • 09 of 11

    Underground City: What Lies Beneath Downtown Montreal

    Underground city photos in Montreal.
    Inside an above ground portion of the underground city in Montreal, the largest of its kind in the world, spanning 33 kilometres (20.6 miles) of the downtown core. Photo © Evelyn Reid

    Some parts of Montreal's underground city are above ground. 

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  • 10 of 11

    Underground City: What Lies Beneath Downtown Montreal

    Montreal underground city photos.
    Nicolas Kipourax Paquet / Getty Images

    Select parts of Montreal's subway network are integrated into the underground city network, notably Bonaventure, McGill, Square-Victoria, and Place d'Armes Metro stations.

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  • 11 of 11

    Underground City: What Lies Beneath Downtown Montreal

    Montreal's underground city in photos.
    Olivier Cirendini / Getty Images

    This part of Montreal's underground city is above ground, connecting to ​Palais des congrès.