(English: Our Lady of Grace), also nicknamed NDG
, is a residential neighbourhood of Montreal
in the city's West End, with a population of 166,520 (2016).
An independent municipality until annexed by the City of Montreal in 1910, NDG is today one half of the borough
of Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. It comprises two wards, Loyola to the west and Notre-Dame-de-Grace to the east. NDG is bordered by four independent enclaves; its eastern border is shared with the City of Westmount, Quebec
, to the north and west it is bordered by the cities of Montreal West
and Cote St. Luc
. NDG plays a pivotal role in serving as the commercial and cultural hub for Montreal's predominantly English-speaking West End, with Sherbrooke Street West running the length of the community as the main commercial artery. The community is roughly bounded by Grey Avenue and the Decarie Expressway to the east, Chemin-de-la-Cote-St-Luc
to the north, Connaught Avenue in the west and Highway 20 and the Falaise-St-Jacques
to the south..
The Church of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce
Notre-Dame-de-Grâce in 1948
At the time of Montreal's founding in 1642 most of the land stretching past Mount Royal to the northwest was a vast forest running the length of a long, narrow ridge known as the Saint Jacques Escarpment. The area that was to become Notre-Dame-de-Grace was founded along that ridge, near a since-drained Lac St. Pierre. The first Europeans settled the area eight years after the founding of the colony of Ville Marie, on November 18, 1650. They were Jean Descarries (or Descaris) dit le Houx and Jean Leduc, from Igé
Both settlers received thirty acres of land in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, a vast territory that stretched from what would become Atwater Avenue
In 1853, construction of the Church of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce was completed.
In December 1876, the Municipality of the Village of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce was established through proclamation. In 1906, the village of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce was incorporated as a town. On June 4, 1910, Notre-Dame-de-Grâce was annexed to the city of Montreal.
It was during this period that the long established Descarries family reached its peak. Daniel-Jérémie Décarie (1836-1904) was mayor of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce from 1877 to 1904 and his son, lawyer Jérémie-Louis Décarie
(1870-1927), was a Quebec parliamentarian.
In May 1912, the Décarie Boulevard
was officially designated, running north–south from Cote-des-Neiges and the Town of Mount Royal in the north to Saint-Henri
and Cote-St-Paul in the south (a section of the road was already known as Décarie Avenue).
In 1908, the first tramway made its appearance in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, running around the north side of Mount Royal from Snowdon
Station to the intersection of Mount Royal and Parc avenues.
Gradually the village developed around the Church of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce which was the head church of the seven parishes on the western part of the Island of Montreal
It was around 1920 that Anglophones began settling in NDG, resulting in the construction of numerous schools and churches. The Décarie Expressway
opened to motorists in 1966, in time for Expo 67
. The highway construction forced the displacement of 285 families and had a major impact on the neighbourhood, severing the easternmost part from the whole and leading to the area being referred to as 'Westmount-adjacent' (a term implying housing costs and lifestyles more on par with Westmount, one of the most affluent communities in North America, rather than NDG which as a whole is more middle class).
Shops along Sherbrooke Street West in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.
Broadly speaking Notre-Dame-de-Grâce is a middle class first-ring residential suburb with a culturally and linguistically diverse urban population. The cityscape and history of the community is rooted firmly in NDG's role as a home for an upwardly-mobile French Canadian middle class that developed much of the land roughly between Confederation
and the First World War
. The neighbourhood is characterized by traditional Quebecois housing styles - notably the detached or semidetached duplex - as well as being organized along the historic land division system developed by for agricultural purposes during Quebec's colonial period (i.e. long, rectangular city blocks running perpendicular to a river or ridge). It is a predominantly residential neighbourhood with considerable appeal to a wide variety of Montrealers, owing principally to its local cultural cachet, proximity to the urban core of the city, and wide variety of commercial and public services.
NDG is a community of communities, as there are several somewhat distinct neighbourhoods within it. Officially the community is divided into an eastern and western ward with Cavendish Boulevard serving as the bisecting line. The eastern part of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce is itself split in two parts by the Decarie Expressway (running north–south), which was built in the late 1950s and resulted in the destruction of many hundreds of homes. The eastern ward is focused around the parish church at the intersection of Decarie and Notre-Dame-de-Grâce avenue, with many of the neighbourhood's oldest buildings being found nearby. Owing to its history, the eastern ward is primarily francophone, middle class and has a strong French and Quebecois cultural and aesthetic character.
The western ward developed during the interwar and post-WW2 era and is more varied in terms of housing styles, income levels, cultural representation and spoken languages. Generally speaking NDG is associated with Montreal's multi-ethnic middle-class Anglophone community, given the presence of major Anglophone institutions like Loyola College of Concordia University
and the MUHC
super-hospital, but despite this association the majority of residents are fully bilingual in French and English and speak both on a regular, if not daily, basis.
Affordable housing and proximity to major Anglophone post-secondary educational institutions, particularly Dawson College and Concordia University, has resulted in a large and consistent student population residing in NDG.
The Visible minority
population of the neighborhood is 33%, with the ethnic breakdown of the neighborhood varied over the territory of NDG.
There is also a sizeable Afro-Canadian
community, concentrated mostly around the parts of the district north of Somerled Avenue as well as south of Sherbrooke Street, and a 'Little Italy' located south of the Canadian Pacific line, colloquially referred to as Saint Raymond. Saint Raymond, with a population of 5 915, has a black population of 18% and a Chinese population of 12%, both notably higher than Montreal as a whole. In recent years, Notre-Dame-de-Grâce has developed into a highly desirable neighbourhood for young professionals, though little gentrification has occurred outside of the Monkland Village
Geographically NDG is situated on a long plateau extending southwest from Mount Royal, cascading in wide terraces down from Cote St. Luc road (cote being the French word for ridge) towards the far steeper Saint-Jacques Escarpment. The land is divided, as is traditional in Quebec
, in long narrow strips, an evolution of the seigneurial land division system
of the province's colonial era. Thus, NDG has many avenues running north-south, but far fewer running east-west. As such, the community is characterized by several prominent boulevards where commercial activity is concentrated. This design element also traces its history back to the earliest urban design planning native to Canada.
NDG is almost exclusively residential and institutional in nature, defined in part by major Anglophone
civic institutions anchoring its eastern and western ends. These are the MUHC
hospital at the Glen Yards, adjacent to the Vendome intermodal station
and the Loyola campus
of Concordia University
(situated next to the Montreal-West commuter rail station
, respectively). Public schools, libraries, places of worship, parks, playgrounds, and public athletic facilities, including a local chapter of the Montreal YMCA
, are distributed throughout the area. Housing tends towards the antique, with much of the construction occurring between 1910 and 1940 and providing a unique mix of Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Beaux-Arts influences on traditional Quebecois architectural styles. There a variety of housing styles found in the borough, though the dominant and favored style remains the red brick duplex row-house. Adding to its residential appeal, the community is well known for its tree-lined streets and general walkability
An important housing project is situated near the geographical center of NDG on Cavendish Boulevard
, which bisects the borough into its eastern and western halves. The Benny Farm
housing project was built to serve the needs of veterans returning from Second World War service, though was later designated as subsidized housing. The housing and surrounding landscaping was rehabilitated in the early 2000s, with new low-cost housing and additional public facilities built, such as the Benny Farm CLSC (a community center with many social services including a clinic run by the provincial health ministry).
The Decarie Expressway trench and the mainline of the Canadian Pacific railway each forms barriers that arguably disrupt the cohesiveness of the borough. As such, sections of NDG have unique characteristics and be characterized as well-defined neighborhoods. As an example, the sliver of NDG running between the rail line and the Saint-Jacques Escarpment (from Cavendish Boulevard to the Décarie Expressway
) is known as St. Raymond's and has a strong association with Montreal's Italian community. Another section, separated from the rest of NDG by a highway trench and sharing a border with Westmount, is closer to where the village of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce was founded, and as such is occasionally referred to as 'Old NDG'.
NDG first rose to prominence as an important middle-class suburb towards the end of the 19th century, initially populated by the (then) new white-collar workforce of the Canadian metropolis and accessible via tramways running to and from the city center. As widespread suburbanization developed in the post-WW2 period, NDG became home to successive waves of immigrants, first from Eastern Europe (including a sizeable Jewish population), then from the Caribbean, and more recently from Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. Concurrently, Anglophone Montrealers consolidated in the West End broadly speaking, with Montreal's Irish and Black communities shifting away from their traditional neighborhoods (Griffintown and Little Burgundy respectively) and taking a more prominent position within the demographics of the area.
Today NDG is a cosmopolitan mixed-income urban neighborhood highly sought after by young professionals. The multitude of services, including parks and other green spaces, schools, clinics, and major institutions, make it an ideal neighborhood to raise a family close to the center of the city of Montreal and its Central Business District. The vintage and antique housing is generally well kept and the aesthetic of the early 20th-century first-ring suburb has been preserved. Additionally, NDG is well-served by public transit, including numerous bus lines, two Métro, and two commuter train stations, allowing the area to be one of the most 'walkable' in the entire city.
Sports and recreation
NDG is well known for many large parks including NDG Park (known as Girouard Park), Loyola Park, and Trenholme Park. The area has three indoor hockey arenas: the public Doug Harvey
Arena (formerly Confederation Arena) and the private Lower Canada College
High School and Concordia University (Ed Meagher Arena
) rinks. NDG is also home to the NDG YMCA
, which includes a pool, gym, and recreation programs for youth and adults.
The NDG Senior Lynx made it to Little League Baseball's Senior League World Series
in 2011 and 2012, representing the region of Canada.
NDG is home to the Montreal Exiles Rugby Football club (www.montrealexiles.com) who have mini-rugby teams (NDG Dragons) at U-6, U-8, U-10 U-12 and U-14 levels, Junior rugby at U-18 and senior men's rugby. Founded in 2011, the senior men's side featured in the provincial finals in 2011, losing to Westmount in the semi-final, and again in 2012 winning the Division C league and Cup. Their home field is Confederation Park.
NDG is also served by a variety of STM bus lines
offering various service levels:
10 Minute Max (6:00-21:00)
- 24 Sherbrooke: East-West local bus serving Decarie boulevard in NDG, Villa Maria metro station is its western terminus.
- 51 Edouard-Montpetit: East-West local bus serving Fielding Avenue. Montreal-Ouest commuter rail station is its western terminus.
- 105 Sherbrooke: East-West local bus serving Sherbrooke street in NDG. Montreal-Ouest commuter rail station and Vendôme metro station are its western and eastern termini, respectively.
10 Minute Max (6:00-14:00 East)(14:00-21:00 West)
Tracks and platforms at the Vendome
- 90 St-Jacques: East-West local bus serving St. Jacques Boulevard in NDG. Connections with Vendôme metro station.
- 103 Monkland: East-West local bus serving Monkland, Grand Boulevard in NDG. Villa Maria metro station serves as its eastern terminus.
420 Notre-Dame-De-Grâce Express: Commuter express bus that stops along Cavendish Boulevard and Sherbrooke before it goes to Downtown Montreal.
356: Night bus that serves Sherbrooke street in NDG. Operates from 2:30 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.
The major commercial streets are Monkland Avenue
, Somerled Avenue and Sherbrooke Street
West. Monkland Village
comprises a cluster of businesses on the eastern part of Monkland Avenue that was revitalized in the 1990s. The Décarie Expressway
is a major sunken urban highway that runs north–south and splits eastern NDG into two segments. Several bridges connect both sides of the borough for both vehicles and pedestrians.
The following is a list of street names in the area and what/who they're named after: Trenholme Street named after the founder of Elmhurst Dairy
- Bessborough: Vere Ponsonby, 9th Earl of Bessborough, 14th Governor General of Canada
- Borden: Robert Borden, 8th Prime Minister of Canada
- Cavendish: Most likely the British House of Cavendish
- Connaught: Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, 10th Governor General of Canada
- Décarie: One or many of several prominent members of the Décarie family; possibly specifically Jérémie-Louis Décarie, who was born in NDG
- Fielding: William Stevens Fielding, 7th Premier of Nova Scotia and federal Minister of Finance
- Girouard: Désiré Girouard, Canadian lawyer, politician, and Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada
- Hingston: William Hales Hingston, a Canadian senator & Mayor of Montreal
- Marcil: Georges Marcil, last mayor of NDG before its annexation into the city of Montreal.
- Monkland: James Monk, former Chief Justice of Lower Canada; landowner
- Notre-Dame-de-Grâce: NDG — the community in which the street is situated
- Old Orchard: The orchards that used to make up large parts of modern-day NDG;
- Sherbrooke: John Coape Sherbrooke, Governor General of British North America, circa 1816
- Somerled: 12th-century Scottish leader
- Terrebonne: A French seigniory near what is now the city of Terrebonne
- Wilson: Named for former Montreal mayor Charles Wilson
The administrative offices of the English Montreal School Board (ESMB), which operates Anglophone public schools in this borough, are located in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.
The EMSB operates 40 primaries, 17 secondaries and 32 other learning institutions with a total student population of 38,000.
There are numerous private and public educational institutions within the community:
French schools (CSDM)
- École internationale de Montréal (primaire)
- École Marc-Favreau
- L'Étoile Filante
- École Notre-Dame-de-Grâce
- École Anne-Hébert
- École Rudolph-Steiner de Montreal
- Royal Vale
- Willingdon School
- Herbert Symonds (Closed 1981)
- St. Monica School
Famous people and residents
An outdoor ice hockey
rink located at Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Park. L’église St-Augustine de Canterbury, now known as River's Edge Community Church, is in the background).
Actors, musicians, artists
Athletes & sports officials/personalities
- Steven Fletcher (ice hockey), NHL player
- Frank Greenleaf, president of the Canadian and Quebec Amateur Hockey Associations
- Doug Harvey, former NHL player
- Russell Martin, major league baseball catcher
- Jim McKean, former CFL player and MLB umpire
- Ian Mofford, former CFL player and Grey Cup champion
- Sergio Momesso, former NHL player and current sports commentator
- Gabriel Morency, sportstalk radio personality
- Sam Pollock, General Manager; Montreal Canadiens
- Marco Scandella, NHL player
- ^ "PROFILS DES DISTRICTS ÉLECTORAUX DE L'ARRONDISSEMENT DE CÔTE-DESNEIGES–NOTRE-DAME-DE-GRÂCE" (PDF). Ville de Montréal (in French). August 2017. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
- ^ Pelland, Yvan. "OUR COMMUNITY'S HISTORY AND PEOPLE". Discover NDG. Archived from the original on 24 January 2013. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- ^ https://www.concordia.ca/now/community-engagement/outreach-initiatives/20110503/imagining-ndg-1.php
- ^ https://censusmapper.ca
- ^ http://www12.statcan.ca/census-recensement/2006/dp-pd/prof/92-597/P3.cfm?Lang=E&CTCODE=4759&CACODE=462&PRCODE=24&PC=h4a2n3
- ^ https://www.ymcaquebec.org/en/Find-a-Y/Notre-Dame-de-Grace-YMCA/Overview
- ^http://www.toponymie.gouv.qc.ca/ct/ToposWeb/Fiche.aspx?no_seq=213651 Commission de la toponymie du Québec
- ^http://www.toponymie.gouv.qc.ca/ct/ToposWeb/fiche.aspx?no_seq=213749 Commission de la toponymie du Québec
- ^ "Frequently Asked Questions Archived 2012-03-01 at the Wayback Machine." English Montreal School Board. Retrieved on December 20, 2012. "A: The EMSB's Administration Building is located at 6000 Fielding Avenue, corner Cote St. Luc Road, in the Montreal District of N.D.G." Version in French Archived 2013-01-03 at the Wayback Machine - French address: "A: The EMSB's Administration Building is located at 6000 Fielding Avenue, corner Cote St. Luc Road, in the Montreal District of N.D.G."
- ^ http://ecole-internationale-primaire.csdm.ca/
- ^ http://marc-favreau.csdm.ca/ "l’école Marc-Favreau est une belle école du quartier Notre-Dame-de-Grâce"
- ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-12-22. Retrieved 2014-12-08. "Anne-Hébert est une magnifique petite école du quartier Notre-Dame-de-Grâce."
- ^ "Les bibliothèques par arrondissement." Montreal Public Libraries Network. Retrieved on December 7, 2014.
- ^ 1911 Census of Canada, Hochelaga Sub-district, Montreal, Quebec: Government of Canada, 1911, p. 18
Last edited on 17 April 2021, at 03:55
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