There are acres of old industrial buildings. Imperial Tobacco was the big employer in St-Henri, along with tanneries, and shoe mills. Now the Métro (subway) stops here, which makes the district easily accessible for the rest of the city. The Atwater Market is a brilliant place to buy Quebec produce, and an startling variety of bread, meat, cheese. The Lachine Canal, which was a reeking industrial sewer, has been cleaned up. Many industrial buildings have been condominiumized or are in the process. This process, which has slowed down in the US as the property market has slumped, seems to be going strong in most of urban Canada.
It is probably because I grew up there, but all forms of Montreal vernacular architecture have a powerful hold on me. A lot of 19th century Montreal resembles parts of Dublin, and other Irish and British provincial cities. And parts of Montreal look like nowhere else. The crazy winding staircases may not have been the best choice for the city's subarctic winter climate, but they were cheaper to build than indoor staircases, so hundreds of Montreal streets are lined with them.
At the massive St-Henri police station/ firehouse, looking up, I noticed these bas-relief scenes of cops and robbers and firemen:
Speaking of crime, my favorite Montreal blog, Coolopolis, has a post on the latest in the city's ongoing Mafia war.