The Southwest borough centres on the Lachine Canal, lined with grassy parks and a popular cycling path.

Nearby, Atwater Market contains gourmet food shops and produce stalls, while a mix of chic restaurants, artisan cafes, and bars cluster on Notre-Dame Street West. Cultural institutions include the massive Arsenal Contemporary Art gallery and the 1912 Corona Theatre, host to touring indie music acts.

Le Sud-Ouest is an amalgam of several neighborhoods with highly distinct histories and identities, mainly with working-class and industrial origins, grouped around the Lachine Canal. These include Saint-Henri, Little Burgundy, and Griffintown to the north of the canal, and Ville-Émard, Côte-Saint-Paul, and Pointe-Saint-Charles to the south.

Located southwest of downtown Montreal (hence the name), the borough is bordered to the northwest by Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, to the northeast by the Ville-Marie borough, to the south by the borough of Verdun, to the west by the borough of LaSalle and to the north by the city of Westmount. The Saint Lawrence River is located upon part of its eastern edge.

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