My Montreal: Hampstead & Other Quebec Curios

A memorial dedicated to King George VI and Princess Elizabeth in Hampstead Park. Source: Conrad Poirier/BAnQ/Wikimedia Commons. Accession number: P48S1P05549 A memorial dedicated to King George VI and Princess Elizabeth in Hampstead Park. Source: Conrad Poirier/BAnQ/Wikimedia Commons. Accession number: P48S1P05549

Hampstead, founded in 1914, is generally considered as one of the richer parts of Montreal, as many wealthy citizens call this independent municipality home. In 2011, just a bit over seven thousand people called Hampstead home, with 39% of its inhabitants aged 35-64 years old, with also a significant portion of the population (35%) being under 25. The last census tells that 75% of Hampstead residents can speak both English and French, although the majority speak English at home. In terms of location, Hampstead lies somewhat in the centre of the island, neither too east nor too west.

Though the majority of space is dedicated to residences, Hampstead does have Hampstead Park as a notable area to explore. In the park is a stone monument dedicated to King George VI and Princess Elizabeth when they visited the area in 1939. Major roads that run through Hampstead include Chemin Queen-Mary which runs through Cote-des-Neiges-NDG and Mount Royal as well. However, Hampstead is first and foremost an exclusive area free from the nuisances of the city, a “garden city”, explicitly intended by its founders.

Hampstead was founded in part by a man named Sir Herbert Holt (he got the “sir” part later), who at the time controlled the tramway network. Holt was rich, so much so that he could probably swim in the money he had: just before the Depression, Holt was only worth about three billion dollars; the Canadian government, on the other hand, only had a paltry three hundred million dollars in circulation around the country.

Not surprisingly, Hampstead takes its name from the British area of the same name.

Visit the municipality’s website here.

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