Source of the name Côte Saint-Luc

The name "Côte Saint-Luc" is, without a doubt, almost as old as the one of "Ville Marie" and dates to the 1660s or so.

The names "Côte Saint-Luc" and "Coteau Saint-Pierre" first appeared about that time in documents describing the land held by the "Seigneurs" (landowners) of the Island of Montreal. (Today Coteau Saint-Pierre is called Nôtre Dame de Grâce or NDG.)

Coteau Saint-Pierre bordered Côte Saint-Luc to the northwest and Côte des Neiges to the northeast.

It is clear that "Côte" -- which is French for "slope" -- referred to the slope that led from the northwest to Coteau Saint-Pierre (NDG). But historian are less certain about the origin of "Saint-Luc".

The custom in the day was to use the land owner's name when naming towns or roads and to add "Saint" to the placename. So, if the name of the owner was Luc, the name of the land might be named Saint-Luc.

The colonization of the Island of Montreal was progressively made, starting from the St. Lawrence River. It only reached "Coteau Saint-Pierre" at the end of the 1600s. The first grant of land on this "Coteau" was made in 1687 to Pierre Hurtubise. Up to 1700, only the forest and the prairie could be seen on "Côte Saint-Luc" and it was good hunting grounds. In fact, tradition has it that game was very plentiful there.

But the inhabitants of Montreal were not long in noticing how fertile the soil was on "Côte Saint-Luc" and the clearing and breaking up of land started there at the beginning of the 1700s. The land remained agricultural for 200 years. In 1900, farming was still the main activity in Côte Saint-Luc.

Interesting facts

Until 1964, the City Hall was housed in the former home of Pierre Lemieux, who was mayor from 1905 to 1909 and from 1912 to 1938. Today, Côte Saint-Luc City Hall is located at 5801 Cavendish Boulevard.