Westmount is a very affluent anglophone community of about 20,000 people (2011) on the island of Montreal, just west of Downtown. Further west is Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (commonly abbreviated NDG), a working-to-middle class district of about 68,000 people (2016) that is also mostly anglophone, and is being gentrified.
Traditionally, the community of Westmount has been a wealthy and predominantly anglophone enclave, having been at one point the richest community in Canada. It now competes with the Vancouver neighbourhoods of Shaughnessy and Kerrisdale, and the Toronto neighbourhoods of Lawrence Park, Forest Hill, Rosedale, and the Bridle Path, for the title.
Most of the city is residential. Homes increase in size and value toward the top of the mountain, with the largest and most expensive being on or near Summit Circle.
Notable buildings include Place Alexis Nihon and the Westmount Square complex, which was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and funded largely by Westmount resident Samuel Bronfman, the founder of the Seagram liquor empire.
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.
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.
Since the first French colonists settled in the area in the middle of the 17th century, this area has been known by several names including La Petite Montagne, Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and Côte-Saint-Antoine. It was renamed Westmount, in 1895, reflecting the location of the city on the southwest slope of Mount Royal and the presence of a large English-speaking population.
During the 20th century, Westmount became a wealthy Montreal suburb; a small city dotted with many green spaces. It was home to some of Montreal's wealthiest families including the Bronfmans and the Molsons. This made the city a symbolic target of Front de libération du Québec terrorist bombings in the 1960s, culminating in the 1970 October Crisis.
Westmount is an independent city, but it is a part of the urban agglomeration of Montreal, and the bulk of its municipal taxes go to the Agglomeration Council, which oversees activities common to all municipalities on the Island of Montreal (e.g. police, fire protection, public transit).
The first Europeans settled the area eight years after the founding of the colony of Ville Marie, in 1650. In December 1876, the Municipality of the Village of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce was established through proclamation. 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.
Since 2002, the area has been administratively attached to Côte-des-Neiges as the borough of Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.
The Atwater station on the Green Line lies on the border between Westmount and the Shaughnessy Village section of Montreal. This is a good stop for the commercial district along rue Saint-Catherine in eastern Westmount, including the Place Alexis Nihon shopping centre. The Orange Line runs through the eastern part of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, with stops at Vendôme and Villa-Maria.
Upper Westmount has a huge array of expensive estates and interesting modern architecture that's worth seeing if you are in the area.
- 1 Concordia University - Loyola Campus, 7141 rue Sherbrooke ouest (between ave Belmore and rue West Broadway; bus 105 or 162, AMT Montreal-Ouest). Concordia's western campus dating from 1916, which started out as Loyola College before merging with Sir George Williams University in 1974 to form Concordia University.
- 2 Westmount Square, rue Sainte-Catherine ouest at ave Wood (metro Atwater, bus 63 or 90). A four-building complex composed of black metal and glass, built in 1967 and designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
- 3 Westmount City Hall, 4333 Sherbrooke Street West. It was designed by architects Francis R. Findlay and Robert Findlay in the Neo-Tudor style. Its style is reminiscent of Scottish castles, with its central tower and crenelations and turrets. It was completed in 1922.
Westmount, given its upscale nature, has a large selection of boutiques to browse.
There are several small commercial districts on Sherbrooke Street from the city's western boundary to the intersection of Sherbrooke Street and Victoria Avenue ("Victoria Village"), on Saint Catherine Street across from Place Alexis Nihon, on Greene Avenue and on De Maisonneuve Boulevard near the Atwater metro station.
- 1 Chez Nick, 1377 ave Greene (at rue Sherbrooke; metro Atwater, bus 24, 104, or 138), ☏ . M-F 07:00-20:00, Sa 07:00-19:00, Su 08:00-18:00. A Montreal institution since 1920. Stop by for a hamburger, chili, or tuna melt.
- 2 Bistro on the Avenue, 1362 ave Greene (between rue Sherbrooke and boul de Maisonneuve; metro Atwater, bus 24, 104, or 138), ☏ . Su-Tu 11:30-22:00, W-Sa 11:30-22:30.
- 3 La Louisiane, 5850 rue Sherbrooke ouest (at ave Regent; bus 105 or 138), ☏ . Su Tu-Th 17:30-22:30, F Sa 17:30-23:00. Cajun and creole cuisine.
- Ristorante Maestro, 6136 ch de la Côte-Saint-Luc (between ave Beaconsfield and ave Hingston; bus 51, 66, or 103), ☏ . Kosher.
- 4 Yakimono Sushi Bar, 4210 boulevard Décarie (at ave Brodeur; metro Villa-Maria, bus 24, 103, or 162), ☏ . M-Th 12:00-15:00 and 17:00-23:00, Sa 1 hr after Shabbat-01:30. Kosher sushi restaurant. Takeout and delivery available.
Westmount is conspicuously lacking in bars, due to the older crowd. The streets are quiet at night.
- 1 Nextdoor Pub (Le Nextdoor), 5175 rue Sherbrooke ouest (at ave de Marlowe; metro Vendôme; bus 17, 24, 63, 90, 102, 104, 105, 124, or 138), ☏ . Daily 16:30-03:00.
- 2 Liquid Lounge, 5028 rue Sherbrooke ouest (between ave Grey and ave Claremont; metro Vendôme; bus 17, 24, 63, 90, 102, 104, 105, 124, or 138), ☏ .
- 3 Typhoon Lounge, 5752 ave de Monkland (at ave Wilson; metro Villa-Maria, bus 103 or 162), ☏ . M-Sa 16:00-03:00, Su 12:00-03:00.
|Routes through Westmount–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce|
|Verdun ← South West ←||W E||→ Downtown → East End|
|Saint-Laurent ← Côte-des-Neiges ←||N S||→ South West → Downtown|
|Candiac ← Saint-Constant ←||S E||→ Downtown → END|
|Saint-Jérôme ← North Island ←||N S||→ Downtown → END|
|Hudson ← West Island ←||W E||→ Downtown → END|