The city of Montreal lies on an island in the St. Lawrence Seaway, and can generally be divided along a northwest/southeast line, running approximately along St. Laurent. To the west and south lies the mountain (Mont Royal), and the downtown and english neighbourhoods; in the opposite direction, the french neighbourhoods. Ethnic neighbourhoods generally form a buffer between the two, following St. Laurent north: Portuguese, Greek, Italian, Jewish.

The Plateau is located at the south end of St. Laurent, just north of downtown. St. Laurent and Pins is considered the social heart of the city, among the under thirty crowd.