Bourassa finally gets his Boulevard

At a crowded ceremony at City Hall packed with political figures past and present, the city of Montreal officially announced it will rename a chunk of University street after late premier Robert Bourassa. 

Amidst Bourassa's former political allies, as well as some of his opponents, Mayor Denis Coderre said University street between Notre-Dame and Sherbrooke will be renamed Boulevard Robert Bourassa.

That's a longer stretch than previously speculated, when it was thought the name change would end at the intersection of the boulevard bearing the name of the premier's longtime rival, Rene Levesque.

University will keep its name above Sherbrooke.

Coderre said he got the go-ahead from McGill University and that the street name's language was never an issue.

"University has a reason to be there, and at one point you had Rene-Levesque and Westmount kept Dorchester, so don't come here with a language war," he said. "It's all about recognition."

Coderre described Bourassa as a proud Montrealer, the youngest Premier in Quebec's history - he was first elected in 1970 at age 36 - and the man who brought Quebec into the modern world.

The move still has to be approved by the provincial government but Coderre is confident that will happen soon.

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  1. ssm posted on 08/27/2014 09:08 PM
    It is sick that Montreal must await permission and approval from the provincial Quebec government in order to change the name of a city street. This is a problem. Time to be liberated from the yoke of the Quebec government. Montreal must become its own cosmopolitan province.
  2. Mark Zannis posted on 08/27/2014 09:13 PM
    The decision to split the street UNIVERSITY into two names is inappropriate.
    The name, which replaced others, dates back to the 1840's when the heirs of Thomas Phillips donated it to the City because it lead to McGill University. (The Phillips heirs also donated Phillips what is known as Phillips square.)
    The street is known by Montrealers because of its name, location and meaning. Why disrupt this?
    We had the same problem with Avenue du Park/Park Avenue. The name is ingrained and easily identified geographically.
    Robert Bourassa grew up in the Plateau & his name has been identified in memory
    elsewhere. Why not follow this historical memory?
    In Outremont there is a library named in his honour on rue St. Just. There, is one street name that could be changed to his.
    In the Plateau Montreal, where Bourassa grew up, there are streets with names long-forgotten by most Montrealers: Drolet, St-Dominique, Hotel de Ville, Rivard, Duluth,Laval, etc .not to mention other familiar places as Carre St-Louis, St. Denis, St.Laurent, St.Hubert. At least one could be found here...perhaps even as so bravely renamed for him as rue St-Denis?
    A true honour would be to consider the long route Henri Bourassa and to divide it into two at rue St-Laurent; one east and one west for the two Bourassa's.
    That would truly be impressive.
    leave University alone...we have enough traffic problems to worry about trying to identify...
    1. I Speak E F posted on 08/28/2014 07:47 AM
      @Mark Zannis I agree 100%. Your idea of which street to rename is brillant. The mayor and province should consult with you, and or the public. Besides, the excessive naming of streets after people and saints is annoying. This guy Bourassa also is not very well like by many people because he is known as the one who started this whole Quebec mess with the intro of Bill 22.
  3. I Speak E F posted on 08/28/2014 08:12 AM
    Why not erect a statue and place it in a park in "The Plateau" —support a local artist.
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