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The Underground City Review

Place Ville-Marie, the cruciform skyscraper designed by I. M. Pei, was the tallest structure in the city when it opened in 1962. Located in the heart of downtown, it signaled the beginning of Montréal's subterranean city. Montrealers were skeptical that anyone would want to shop or even walk around in the new "down" town, but more than four decades later they can't live without it.

About half a million people use the 30-km (19-mile) Underground City, or la ville souterraine, daily. The tunnels link 10 métro stations, seven hotels, 200 restaurants, 1,700 boutiques, and 60 office buildings—not to mention movie theaters, concert halls, convention complexes, the Centre Bell, two universities, and a college. Those who live in one of more than 2,000 connected apartments can buy milk on a February day and never have to put on their coat.

Updated: 08-10-2013

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