Tucked away in the Montreal Domestic Animal Control By-Laws is a provision that allows the city to designate "community cats" — animals "living in a semi-wild state" that are under the care of "at least one person who acts as their guardian."
I thought this was a really sweet, formal way to recognize the role that cats play in the city. Often, feral and domesticated cats, alike, come under communal ownership as they wander through the city streets each day.
To celebrate Montreal cats, I've compiled below the places where, in my experience, cats are often out and about, waiting for a generous pedestrian to offer a snack or pets.
This list is obviously not comprehensive. I would love to hear what your favourite cat-spotting places are!
Saint-Henri, south-west of the train tracksGoogle Maps
The western portion of St-Henri, between the Lachine Canal and the train tracks that run through the neighbourhood, is quieter than the areas closer to avenue Atwater and Lionel-Groulx metro station.
Ample green space and numerous alleys make this area purrfect for felines.
The streets surrounding Laurier ParkGoogle Maps
The residential streets between ave. du Mont-Royal and Laurier Park in the Plateau Mont-Royal are free of the heavy traffic that characterizes the lower Plateau.
The old buildings in this area create hundreds of secret nooks and crannies that cats seem to adore. A density of apartments also means that your chances of spotting a cat multiply.
Quiet streets in LachineGoogle Maps
Lachine is a borough of the city of Montreal but feels more like a nice suburb. In my limited experience, cats avoid the lakefront, but populate the green lawns, porches, and balconies further into the idyllic arrondissement.
The Village between rue Ste-Catherine and rue SherbrookeGoogle Maps
These few blocks in the Village feature some strange gated garages where cats often creep in the shade. Look closely at the pavement and you may even find little pawprints from irreverent kitties.
Pointe St-CharlesGoogle Maps
This neighbourhood in the Sud-Ouest borough is almost entirely residential, lacking the kind of busy commerical thoroughfare that marks its neighbour, St-Henri.
You're likely to spot a furry friend in any one of the narrow streets in the area.
That concludes my list! Do you have any additions?