Montreal gets a lot of tourists year-round. You can't even go outside in the busier areas of the city without seeing families posing with their selfie stick, wearing "I heart Montreal" t-shirts and taking photos of literally every street corner and statue they can find. Not that tourists are bad for the city, but you have a pretty good chance at seeing some no matter where you are.
That's probably why so many more spaces are turning into tourist hubs. More souvenir shops are built, food stands swarm the area, cars are closed off from driving through. It's always interesting to see where in the city is the next set up for tourist attractions and what it's transformation will look like. There is tons of foot traffic in the city, especially during Summer months, so why not?
Well, that's why McGill College Avenue is officially being prepared to become a pedestrian square, promoting travel by foot and eliminating any vehicle traffic in the area. Not only that, but the plan to transform the square coincides with the constrution of the new REM station, boosting the visitors to the area a ton.
After construction is completed, which is expected to be in 2021, it's estimated that 16,000 people will use the stop during rush hour every weekday. The more you think about it, the more that this tourist square starts to make sense.
The square's exact location will be on McGill College Ave. between Sherbrooke St. and Place Ville Marie. A budget for the entire project hasn't been confirmed as of now, but it's a city project that's a part of the plan to revitalize the downtown core of Montreal, which itself is $123 million.
Mayor Valérie Plante says she wants the square to be as iconic as historical sites such as Mount Royal and Old Montreal, so we should all have pretty high expectations once construction is over. You can also expect a ton of new activities and stores to be introduced to the area, so it's safe to say the future McGill College Square will be the new city hub and ultimate place to be.
Now that construction on both the station and square has begun, cars are basically always closed off from the area. If you're looking to avoid possibly the worst traffic in the city, you'll want to save your visit to the square for when you're car-less.