Vieux-Saint-Laurent is a bustling centre. It is home to many of the City's institutions, including Cégep de Saint-Laurent, Vanier College, the Musée d'art de Saint-Laurent, the Municipal Public Library, the former Centre hospitalier which in May 2001 became the Centre hospitalier en soins de longue durée (CHSLD), the police station, the fire station, the post office and numerous stores as well as a few factories.

The architectural heritage of Vieux-Saint-Laurent offers reminders of the significant periods throughout its history. Recognized as the traditional downtown core of Saint-Laurent, it is the junction where all the eras converge.

Sainte-Croix boulevard, formerly Principale street, was Vieux-Saint-Laurent's main artery, borne of the budding agglomeration that set the foundation for the City of Saint-Laurent at the end of the 19th Century. At that time, the City's institutions were located on the east side of this thoroughfare, and most businesses and homes were on the west side. The 1901 annexation of a parcel of territory owned by the Parish of Saint-Laurent led to the development of Décarie boulevard, which very early on had a far more commercial status. In the early 1950's, the very first shopping centre in Quebec, the Norgate Shopping Centre was built on that street.

downtown core

In response to the declining economic role of traditional downtown cores in most North American cities in the 1980's, Vieux-Saint-Laurent was redefined. Many revitalization projects were launched, affirming the sector's urban role. Accordingly, the Édouard-Laurin sector was redesigned with the construction of new housing and commercial complexes, as was of Décarie boulevard, where traffic flow was improved for both vehicles and pedestrians and traffic volume was reduced.

Décarie boulevard
before revitalization

Décarie boulevard 
after  revitalization

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