Both the neighbourhood and the avenue are named after James Monk, who was the attorney general of Lower Canada, and chief justice to the court of the Queen's Bench from 1804 to 1824. This area in particular became associated with Monk due to the estate he built in 1804 known as Monklands. This estate would later become the Governor General's residence, and was later on sold to the Congregation de Notre-Dame who would use the building for the Villa Maria private girls school.
Monkland Avenue has been a commercial artery since the 1930s. Today the strip is home to many small businesses including restaurants, cafés, bars, unique boutiques, tea shops and more.