St. Patrick's Day parade to move from Ste-Catherine St. after 55 years

It’s being moved from Ste-Catherine Street to de Maisonneuve Boulevard thanks to a four-year marathon roadwork project aimed at revitalizing the strip.

Parade moving to de Maisonneuve Blvd. due to 4-year construction project along Ste-Catherine

Spectators smile as they watch the St. Patrick's Day parade in Montreal last year. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

After more than 55 years on Ste-Catherine Street, Montreal's annual St. Patrick's Day parade will progress along de Maisonneuve Boulevard this year.

It's being moved from Ste-Catherine Street thanks to a four-year marathon roadwork project aimed at revitalizing the strip — and replacing the outdated sewage system that runs beneath it.

The parade, in its 195th year, is taking place on Sunday, March 18 this year.

According to Ken Quinn of the United Irish Societies of Montreal, the organization fully intends to take the parade back to Ste-Catherine after the construction glut subsides.

"You get used to doing the same thing the same way every year," Quinn said, adding that the setup on Ste-Catherine is easy.

"We also like our traditions."

After over 55 years on Ste-Catherine Street, Montreal's annual St. Patrick's Day parade will progress along De Maisonneuve Boulevard this year. (United Irish Societies of Montreal/Facebook)

Changes underway

Attendees can expect some other big changes: the parade will move from east to west along de Maisonneuve, starting at City Councillors Street. It will end at the intersection of MacKay Street and René-Lévesque Boulevard.

Quinn encouraged attendees to take public transit to get to the parade, as Guy-Concordia, Peel, McGill and Place-des-Arts Metro stations are located directly along the parade route.

The community reaction has been generally been positive, said Quinn.

London police are reminding the public to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in a responsible manner this Thursday. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

"We do understand the reservations that people have," he said. "Whole families have the ritual of meeting at certain street corners on parade day, which will have to change now."

"It's a legitimate concern for these people."

Still, this isn't the first time the parade has seen change. Before its 55-year stint on Ste-Catherine, the parade meandered to different locations, including Sherbrooke Street.

"The parade would start and end at different parishes depending on the year," Quinn said.

This changed with the decline of the influence of the Catholic Church, and the parade becoming an event for all Montrealers, he added.

"We hope to see Montrealers come out in great numbers on March 18 to celebrate the coming of spring," Quinn said.