Downtown Ambassadors

2 minutes

Sarah McMahon-Sperber

© Thierry Du Bois
  • © © Thierry Du Bois
Discover the Downtown Ambassadors, your new field resource in the heart of downtown!

Cohabitation, cohesion and communication in downtown

Beyond being a business district, the downtown is also a living environment, a cultural and artistic hub, and a meeting place for all Montrealers. Thus, in order to improve the attractiveness and quality of life in downtown, Montréal centre-ville has set up a new field brigade that facilitates the reception of visitors while contributing to cohabitation, cohesion and communication in downtown.

How does that translate in the field? In fact, the Downtown Ambassadors intervene, seven days a week, to support the well-being, cleanliness and safety of the downtown area in three ways. 

By informing visitors, residents and businesses about the activities in place, the services offered and the sanitary measures

By creating lasting links with downtown businesses

By creating lasting links with stakeholders and marginalized communities

So, if you come across them in the neighborhood with their burgundy uniforms and their ambassador backpacks, don’t hesitate to say hello!


Inspiration from international practices

This field brigade was born during a consultation process with shops and businesses downtown. Indeed, many want to see an improvement in the experience and sense of security of visitors. Moreover, they are not the first to apply – this type of project already exists in many downtowns around the world !

The Chicago Loop Alliance, for example, has implemented a similar service that offers enhanced hospitality services, promotes the pedestrian experience, and keeps State Street safe and clean, seven days a week. Chicago Loop Ambassadors was launched in 2014 and has since proven its effectiveness and usefulness to merchants, visitors, residents and marginalized populations. Similar brigades also exist in downtown Salt Lake City, Boston and Reno.

The philosophy of the Downtown Ambassadors is based on an integrated, empathetic and social approach that relies on in-depth knowledge of the realities and sensitivities of Indigenous communities and people experiencing homelessness. To ensure the effectiveness and consistency of the field approach, the brigade has received extensive training from the YMCA Dialogue team. In addition, the brigade also acts in concert with the SPVM and Cactus Montreal teams.

Various fields of intervention in downtown

Concretely, the Downtown Ambassadors are active in the field from Monday to Saturday between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. They intervene in several situations, especially if you have questions about downtown programming and resources, when you notice issues of cleanliness or safety, when it is necessary to establish mediation with marginalized communities nearby or even when there is a need for support for managing queues in shops or for complying with health measures.

Would you like to join them?

All it takes is a phone call to (438) 404 -2030