These are photos from the terrace of a restaurant in Old Montreal called Boris Bistro. It’s not new — it’s been around since 1999 — but that doesn’t change the fact that its outdoor space is absolutely magical.
The terrace sits behind an old stone facade on McGill Street that is held up with a three-storey steel structure. Hello façadism! I have tried to figure out the vintage of the original building through a cursory look online, but I came up with nothing. (Drop it in comment section below if you happen to know.)
What we were told at the restaurant was that the original building burnt down, leaving just the facade and then an open space behind it. The size of the trees on the terrace do suggest that it’s been this way for a long time.
There’s an office building beside it that looks to be of a 90s vintage (465 McGill Street) and this open space was apparently a place for office workers to go smoke. But now the ground floor of the office building and the terrace function as one large contiguous space.
The result is what you see above. Magic.
Montréal has been city building for a lot longer than Toronto. Some 400 years depending on how you calculate it. This history has created one of the most beautiful built environments anywhere in the world.