Ils ont fortement contribué à la construction du pont Victoria et du Canal de Lachine. Une bonne endurance physique et la tolérance à des journées de travail de quinze heures étaient les principaux pré-requis. Plusieurs ouvriers travaillèrent au port, dans les usines, ou à la construction du chemin de fer Grand Trunk. La communauté irlandaise se rassemblait à l’église Sainte-Anne, détruite en 1970.
En 1963, la ville de Montréal décide de raser le quartier en créant une zone industrielle. Le quartier est éventuellement renommé en Faubourg-des-Récollets. Il fait partie de l’arrondissement du Sud-Ouest.
La Cité du multimédia a été bâtie en partie au-dessus des ruines. Les restes sont conservés dans le musée McCord. Le réalisateur Michel Régnier a réalisé un film sur le sujet en 1972. David O’Keefe publia un livre historique en anglais intitulé The Ghosts of Griffintown.
En 2006, le projet de déménagement du Casino de Montréal aux abords du bassin Peel, dans un complexe de divertissement en partenariat avec le Cirque du Soleil, suscita la controverse à cause de l’impact social de l’implantation d’un l’établissement de jeu dans un quartier défavorisé. Le projet fut finalement abandonné.
En avril 2007, le maire de Montréal, Gérald Tremblay, avec la collaboration de la Société du Havre, a annoncé la transformation de l’autouroute Bonaventure en boulevard urbain, ce qui serait une des phases d’un immense projet pour faire revivre le quartier Griffintown. Ce dernier comprendrait des nouvelles tours à bureaux, des condos, des résidences universitaires ainsi qu’une ligne de tramway. En juillet 2007, le promoteur Devimco à annoncé des plans pour développer 12 hectares du quartier en complexe moderne des tours de bureaux, condominiums, et un centre d’achats à grande surface.
Griffintown (sometimes also called Griffontown) is a common name given to the former southwestern downtown part of Montreal, Canada, derived from an old industrial community of the same name, existent throughout the 19th and up to the second half of the 20th centuries and mainly populated by Irish immigrants of low income families. It is believed to have been vaguely defined by Notre-Dame street to the North, McGill and Guy streets to the East and the West respectively, and the Lachine Canal to the South, making Griffintown the earliest and largest faubourg ever annexed to Old Montreal (and its outskirts) before the introduction of the tram car in the 1840s.
It was first settled by mostly Irish immigrants in the early nineteenth century, though the Irish Catholics were supplemented with French Canadians and Anglo Protestants as the century progressed. The Irish Catholic residents of Griffintown in the nineteenth century were primarily unskilled labourers, who worked to construct the infrastructure of Montreal, such as the Lachine Canal (built 1821-5, expanded in the 1840s and 1870s), the Victoria Bridge (opened 1859), as well as the various railways and Montreal harbour expansions of the nineteenth century. They also found employment in the developing industry in Griffintown and along the Canal in the 1840s and 50s.
The Irish community was centred around St. Ann’s Catholic Church, at the corner of McCord (now rue de la Montagne) and Basin Streets, across from Gallery Square. St. Ann’s opened in 1854, and was closed and torn down in 1970, having lost most of its parishioners. The site is now a park, appropriately named Parc Griffintown-St-Ann. The old foundation of the church can still be seen, and park benches are placed as if they were pews in the once-erected church.
By the early twentieth century, Griffintown was also home to growing Jewish and Italian communities. The Irish, for their part, were moving out by the early twentieth century. By 1941, they had lost their status as the largest group in “the Griff,” replaced, briefly, by the French Canadians. By the early 1960s, Italians and Ukrainians were the majority. In 1968, the Irish comprised one-fourteenth of the population of Griffintown, which itself had fallen to 810 by 1971. The neighbourhood itself was officially bulldozed in the 1960s in order to make way for the Bonaventure Expressway.  However, it still remains a central point in Irish Catholic history in Montreal. The debates surrounding the aftermath of deindustrialization surround this area.
In 1962, the city of Montreal re-zoned the neighbourhood as “light industrial”, though by this point, Griffintown was already seriously depopulated, as the residents moved out en masse during the 1950s, during the postwar economic boom in Canada. The neighbourhood disappeared in the 1970s, as a result of this deindustrialization and the construction of the Bonaventure expressway. It was renamed the “Faubourg des Recollets” in 1990, and only somewhat resembles what it once was due to the historical architecture that remains. The Cité du multimédia was built partly above the ruins. The remainders are preserved in the McCord Museum.
Today, this area is part of the borough of Le Sud-Ouest. It spans theoretically from the neighbourhood of Point St. Charles to the Old Port, and north to Notre-Dame street. Currently, it holds stables (including the Griffintown Horse Palace, corner Ottawa and Eleanor) for the horses that provide tours in carriages (calèches) around the Old Port. Many technology companies occupy office space in the area, and the UQAM-affiliated École de Technologie Supérieure (ÉTS) converted the former Dow Brewery to create its main campus there. Some long-time residents still live in the area, but little of the original architecture remains.
In 2006, the project to move the Montreal Casino to the Peel Basin, as part of an entertainment complex in partnership with the Cirque du Soleil, caused a controversy because of the social impact of the establishment of gambling in an underprivileged district. The project was finally abandoned. In July 2007, promoter Devimco announced plans to develop 12 hectares of the neighborhood into a modern complex of office towers, big-box stores, and residential homes .
On the City of Montreal Website, additional plans to update the now-renamed Griffintown are described.