Pointe-St-Charles, known by locals as "The Pointe" or "PSC", is located not far from downtown in the Southwest borough of Montreal, bordered by the Lachine Canal and the railroad yards by the St-Lawrence River. Residents have easy access to the Champlain Bridge, Hwy 20, 10, and 15 as well as the Charlevoix metro, which runs on the green line.
Despite being known as one of Montreal's poorer neighborhoods, Pointe-St-Charles is rapidly gentrifying. Several condo developments are in the process of being constructed alongside homes built in the 19th century. Plexes and factories have been renovated and converted into beautiful condos. A younger generation, attracted to these homes, is gradually moving in and contributing to the communal solidarity that has always characterized the Pointe.
What's most interesting about Pointe-St-Charles is that the neighborhood is an integral component of Montreal's rich history. The area was one of Canada's first industrial slums where European immigrants worked on the railroads and in the factories. The great famine of Ireland brought hundreds of thousands to Montreal in the mid-1800s, many arriving ill with typhus, also known as "ship fever". Fever sheds were built to house the sick and prevent them from entering the city by keeping them in quarantine at "the bottom of the hill". Thousands died and were buried along the banks of the St-Lawrence River. Many of their remains were uncovered during the construction of the Victoria Bridge. At the same time, a large stone was pulled from the river. This stone, commonly referred to as the Black Rock, was erected at the bridge entrance in 1859 by workers "to preserve from desecration the remains of 6000 immigrants who died of ship fever A.D.1847-8”. Every year Montrealers participate in the "Walk to the Stone" to honor those who died.
The history of Pointe-St-Charles is evident in its architecture. I love visiting properties in the Pointe with my clients because they have so much charm and character. I've seen lofty condos with 11 foot ceilings and homes with stone foundations, exposed brick, and giant wood beams. Recently, I visited a house in PSC with a cat-brick fireplace. Cat-brick is good quality brick from the 1800s that was dried in the fields. Often, cats would walk on the brick leaving their paw print embedded within. This house had a fireplace with the fossilized paw print of a cat from 150 years ago. Talk about a unique property!
For those who appreciate history and want to live in an up-and-coming neighborhood that's affordable and situated in a great location, I would recommend investing in the Pointe. There's plenty of great revenue property, condos, and charming homes available for interested buyers.
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