The demographic growth of Ahuntsic is closely related to the traditional neighborhood development of our local transportation systems.
A growth that started with the waterway transport on the Rivière-des-Prairies at the beginning of the colony and that continued with the construction of the Canadian National Railroad during the Second World War, and with the opening of the metro in 1967.
The neighborhood had and still has the reputation of being beautiful and upscale. A reputation that is clearly justified when one looks at its waterfronts, its numerous parks, its cottages, its bungalows and its beautiful historic homes along the Gouin Boulevard.
Then again, the monthly income of a certain part of the population is sometimes too low to properly cover basic needs such as food, shelter and clothing.
The rate of poverty in the area compares well with other areas. However, and despite its reputation for being a wealthy neighborhood, a larger part of the population is now under the poverty line and neighborhood solutions need to be applied.
Immigration is gradually changing the social portrait of a population that is still mainly French. Recent immigrants are often poor and the integration is sometimes slow and difficult even if neighborhood youth family services are always available.
Those most affected are children, families with single-parent mothers, aboriginals as well as mentally ill and physically handicapped people. The number of single-parent families is increasing, along with the number of people living alone in housings that often show various signs of decay.
There’s always been a strong religious presence in the Center North of the territory.
Many health and scholar establishments now occupy buildings that were built decades or centuries ago by religious communities. Constructions that were built to last, that are still standing and that reflect our sociocultural evolution.
Among them, the Centre d'hébergement Laurendeau on Gouin East, the Collège Mont-Saint-Louis on Henri-Bourassa, the École secondaire Sophie-Barat also on Gouin East, the Collège Andre-Grasset on Crémazie, the Collège Ahuntsic on Saint-Hubert...
In the 1930’s, during the Great Depression , many unemployed men with no place to go used makeshift solutions to build houses for their families. The neighborhood became so important that it gave rise to the Saints-Martyrs-Canadiens parish in 1941.
The history of the North East territory goes a long way. There are still many historical houses that remind us of a life that thrived and flourished around the mills and along the road leading to the Île-de-la-Visitation, now a nature park.
The Chemin du Sault-au-Récollet, now called the Gouin Boulevard has the largest concentration of old houses and buildings on the entire Island of Montreal. Some 300 buildings dating from the 18th century can still be seen and admired.
The North West part of the territory is characterized by a lot of greenery, a large number of parks and picnic opportunities and by a most pleasurable bicycle path along the Rivière-des-Prairies.
The North West is home to the popular Maison de la culture and to its popular neighborhood social network.
In the South East, 99% of the residences were built after 1960.
Between 1981 and 1985, the "20,000 Residence Operation" managed to double the population in the Domaine Saint-Sulpice, an area bordered by Louvain, Cremazie, Papineau and Saint-Hubert.
It is the only neighborhood that experienced such a swift expansion. Today, the Domaine Saint-Sulpice offers proper neighborhood security and is an ideal place to raise a family
The whole neighborhood is bordered by the Metropolitan Boulevard, the CN Railway, Chabanel, the fashion street and the Youville Maintenance Complex.
The construction of the Canadian National Railway, the CN during the Second World War incited war industries to establish themselves on a territory now occupied by the clothing industry.
Today, the South West is where the Garment District, the Cité de la Mode located on Chabanel and Louvain between Saint-Laurent and Meilleur.
The South West is a strong industrialized sector with very little green areas and a high concentration of immigrants.
Many of these immigrants live in the Saint-Simon family area in the l'Acadie and Chabanel neighborhood bordered by the Metropolitan, the railway, the Cité de la mode and the Youville Maintenance Complex.
Ahuntsic by Rachel Louise Barry