Ice Cold Montreal 

It’s understandable that some Montrealers choose to spend more time in the city’s “Ville souterraine” during the colder months of January and February.

From November to April, one of Canada’s largest provinces, Québec, experiences a harsh winter with lots of snow and sub-zero temperatures. As January and February temperatures can regularly be as low as minus 20° Celsius, it is understandable that there are people in Montreal who want to find ways to rarely feel the cold of winter. Some of those people spend more time in Montreal’s Underground City, or “Ville souterraine” during the colder months (even sometimes with games or gambling using a LeoVegas promo code).

Back in the early 1960s, at about the same time as the city’s first skyscraper was being planned, the idea also arose to move parts of city life underground. In the summer months, life in Montreal took place mainly outside, in street cafés and on leafy boulevards. At around that time, Place Ville-Marie quickly developed into a popular meeting place on cold winter days.

Soon, other shops and attractions settled in the warm caverns beneath the city. The original nucleus of Place Ville-Marie thus grew into an impressive underground city, the “Ville souterraine”. Whenever excavations were carried out somewhere in the city center in the following years, new passages and underground centers were created. The expansion of the metro network was also pushed ahead and integrated into the concept of the “Ville souterraine”: Entrances and exits of the metro were placed in apartment buildings and office buildings and directly connected to the shops in the basement. Newly constructed tunnel systems connected these metro stations directly to the underground city. Now no one had to go out into the cold to shop, go to the cinema or enjoy a café-au-lait in one of the many cafés.

Meanwhile, the extensive network of passages and tunnels and multi-story malls is over 32 kilometers long and forms the largest underground city in the world. You will find a hockey arena, two bus stations, three event halls and ten underground stations. There are also hundreds of shops, restaurants, cinemas, theatres and other businesses. 80% of all office buildings and about 40% of all Montreal’s shops are connected to this huge underground network. From here, there is also access to two universities, the city’s convention center and the world-famous Museum of Modern Art.

You could spend days in the warm belly of Montreal — and many citizens do. Some can take an elevator from their apartment or condo to the underground station below in the morning and work in one of the downtown offices — everything being within walking distance inside, making thick winter clothes less necessary even during the colder months. Each of Montreal’s metro stations has been designed by a different artist — some with glass paintings, neon art and large sculptures.

The nightlife of Montreal, the many good jazz clubs, nightclubs and bars are still above ground — even if they don’t actually need the daylight.

The Laurentian Mountains north of Montreal are a sight to see, with lifts and slopes for skiing at Mont Tremblant or Mont Saint Sauveur, snowmobile trails, and groomed cross-country trails through the picturesque snow-covered mountain forests. The ski resort in the south of Québec, Mont Orford, is also easily accessible. Winter can be endured quite well here for a few days — then you can escape back to the basement of Montreal.