Archives de la Ville de Montréal/Cat-bus

Sixty-six years later, the city's urban design is not so different.

If you're familiar with the city of Montreal, you might be interested in this mash-up of historical shots and Google Earth.

Using aerial shots taken between 1947 and 1949 -- on the eve of urban renewal -- the Montreal blog Cat-Bus created a click-through comparison map, which allows viewers to instantly switch between the past and present.

More than anything, I'm surprised by how similar the city's frame looks. Downtown is still full of buildings, rather than parking lots. It's clear that urban renewal did not unfold here with the same force as in U.S. cities like Louisville and New Haven.

That said, you'd be hard pressed to find an area that hasn't changed at all.

Below, a few blocks of buildings razed to build the Autoroute Ville-Marie :

The parking lot did become a park, though:

The expansive freight yards on the city's north side are no more:

All images from the Archives of the City of Montreal and Google, via Cat-Bus.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Design

    The Problem With 'Fast-Casual Architecture'

    Washington, D.C., has a huge new waterfront development that’s fun, popular, and easy on the eyes. Is anything wrong with that?

  2. Transportation

    If You Drive Less Than 10,000 Miles a Year, You Probably Shouldn't Own a Car

    Up to one-quarter of all U.S. drivers might be better off using ride-sharing services instead.

  3. Transportation

    How Seattle Bucked a National Trend and Got More People to Ride the Bus

    Three experts in three very different positions weigh in on their city’s ridership success.

  4. Equity

    Big Tech Ought to Step Up for Cities

    Leading high-tech firms have increasingly gone from heroes to villains in the eyes of their neighbors. It’s in their own interest to help make cities more affordable and inclusive.

  5. Life

    Google Announces Plan to Turn Toronto Neighborhood into Living Laboratory

    The development is the company's first foray into what it has described as "rebuilding cities from the Internet up.”