Between 1956 and 1976, Saint-Léonard went from a very small rural neighbourhood with less than 1000 inhabitants to over 78,000 and was growing steadily. An incredible upswing in the housing market is what really made this borough take off. Located in the East End of Montreal, today Saint-Leonard is fully developed and booming with ongoing construction and a new generation of families. It is a technological leader with many modern facilities, and all forms of convenience and amenities to accommodate its residents.
The Residential Landscape
One trademark characteristic is the construction style, with loads of multi-family housing such as wide semi-detached duplexes, triplexes, four-plexes, and five-plexes. Many have become picturesque with white stone façades, decorative marble architecture, colourful floral arrangements in front and vegetable gardens in the back. Interlocking paving stone driveways and sharp-looking aluminum windows and balconies are now a favourite of the younger generation.
More recently, construction has shifted to high-rise buildings, easy to spot with attractive architectural flair and classy styling. One thing has not changed, however: Saint-Leonard is a clean, safe, sophisticated place to live.
Where to go for fun
The Multicultural Presence
The leading ethnic presence in Saint-Léonard belongs to the Italians, beginning to arrive here almost 100 years ago. Their identity could be seen almost immediately, and it is just as strong today. This borough has the highest concentration of Italian-Canadians in Montreal, with many cultural institutions and businesses serving St-Leo’s largest ethnic community. Many services around the area are now available in the Italian language, in addition to French and English. Restaurants, cafés, and bakeries offering authentic Italian cuisine can be found at every turn. Clothing, footwear, and furniture stores are also available in numbers.
Other nationalities also make their home here and add to the area’s rich culture. Among the largest groups in more recent times are Algerians, Haitians, Moroccans, and Vietnamese. (2016 Census) Today Saint-Leonard is truly one of the most diverse and flavourful boroughs in the entire Montreal area.
There is no shortage of commercial activity in Saint-Leonard. Be it retail, commercial, industrial, or hospitality, amenities and opportunities exist at every turn. The abundance of restaurants, cafés, bakeries, fashion boutiques and professional services is staggering. For anyone looking to work, invest, or just be a consumer of top quality products and services, Saint-Leonard is the destination in eastern Montreal.
Largest Employers in Saint-Leonard
Since the switch from Catholic and Protestant school boards to language-based groupings (French and English), Saint-Leonard has been served by 2 major school boards. French schools are now governed by the Commission Scolaire Pointe-de-l’Ile and English schools fall under the English Montreal School Board.
The Saint-Léonard Library (of the Montreal Public Libraries Network) is truly state-of-the-art with cutting edge technology and a gorgeous facility which welcomes all.