Red Light District
There is no official red-light district, although the definition of the boundaries has varied according to both the source and the time period. According to Viviane Namaste in 1973, it was bordered by René Lévesque Boulevard to the south, Sherbrooke Street to the north, Saint Laurent Boulevard to the west and Saint Denis Street to the east. According to Daniel Proulx, it was defined early in the twentieth century by Sherbrooke Street to the north, Saint-Denis Street to the east, Bleury Street to the west and by Old Montreal to the south. Proulx claims that today, it has shrunk to centre on the corner of Sainte-Catherine and Saint-Laurent, the area's historical heart.
Prostitution, gambling and drinking were more prevalent in this area because of its proximity to the city center, which is often a major tourist attraction, and the high density of liquor shops (taverns, bars, night clubs, cabarets, etc.).
The future of Montreal's red light district may be heading down a new path. Many well-recognized organizations are rallying to legalize prostitution in order for it to be more protected and safe for both the seller and customer. If all goes according to plan, soon we may see Montreal becoming as sexy and liberal as Amsterdam.
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