Thursday, June 07, 2012

Vieux Montréal

Our walk took us down toward the river, past the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) into Old Montréal. The old buildings are beautiful, even if they're now occupied by large cafés and tee-shirt shops targeting tourists. Like us. We took a side street back toward the city center and found ourselves in the Place d'Armes.

The Notre-Dame basilica on the right. I don't know what the building on the left is, but I like it.

This is one of the oldest public squares in Montréal and the location of the Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal (the Notre-Dame basilica). The neo-classical columns and dome of the Banque de Montréal contrast with the basilica's gothic revival style and the art-deco Aldred Building that front on the square. The place is also home to Montréal's first skyscraper, the New York Life building.

The tall white building in the back is the Aldred Building, the red building is the New York Life Building. I don't know what the building on the left is, but I thought the three of them looked good together.

Right in the middle of the place is the impressive Maisonneuve Monument that dates from 1895. The statue on top of the large concrete base is of Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve, the founder of Montréal. Lower on the base are four bronze statues and four bronze bas-reliefs depicting events and heroes of the new city and French colony.

A bronze statue of an Iroquois Indian on the Maisonneuve Monument.

Ken and I wandered around a bit taking pictures, not really knowing what we were looking at. We didn't go inside the basilica at all (was it closed?). By this time we were feeling a little thirsty and decided, rather than backtrack toward the big cafés we saw earlier, we would head down into the center of town and look for a café or bar there.

The Bank of Montréal's main branch and the Maisonneuve Monument in the Place d'Armes.

First we had to find an ATM and get some cash. That was easy enough once we got into the business district downtown. But we didn't find a café that appealed to us, so we decided to hop on the métro (subway) and head back to the rue Saint-Denis for a drink. That way, we'd be closer to the hotel when it was time to change for dinner.

Another view of the basilica and the New York Life building.


  1. The Aldred building looks interesting. Any more photos of that? You will just have to go back.

  2. I'm sure the architects of those three buildings are happy that you thought the buildings "looked good together".
    p.s. I do too!

  3. Walt, you enjoy cities so much. I wonder if that's your natural habitat? Or is it that you like visiting them but are thrilled to come home where it's quiet and green.

  4. I'm glad you picked out a hotel on rue St Denis;-) I love the looks of Montreal through your photos.

  5. Looks to be an interesting place with some beautiful buildings. My brother was there for Christmas (his wife's brother lives there) and he said it was colder than cold!

  6. I feel like my little trip to Montréal (one afternoon) just missed the boat, so to speak. I feel like I didn't see much! I may go back this summer when I visit my sister in VT. Thanks for all of these great photos!

  7. I noticed a lot of people are wearing coats. That's another black mark against Montréal.

  8. Walt

    The first unknown building is the Édifice Duluth ( same as the chap who went to MN) :

  9. Walt

    Second one is the Hotel de la place d'Armes, formerly:

    Construit en 1870 selon les plans de l’entreprise d’architectes Hopkins & Willy, le 701, Côte de la Place D’Armes, élément important dans le paysage montréalais, abrite aujourd’hui un hôtel 4 étoiles, l’Hôtel Place D’Armes.

    Cet édifice est un exemple parfait de l’élégance architecturale caractéristique de la fin du XIXe siècle dans le Bas-Canada. À l’origine, le bâtiment comprenait cinq étages et appartenait à la compagnie d’assurances Great Scotish Life Insurance qui l’avait construit.

    En 1909, celui-ci fut prolongé jusqu’à la Ruelle des Fortifications et rehaussé de deux étages. L’entreprise d’architectes Marchand & Haskell, grâce à ses travaux majeurs, permit d’accroître de façon importante la superficie de l’édifice, tout en respectant son équilibre architectural original.

    Le 7 novembre 1975, conçu pour abriter des bureaux, l’immeuble fut classé monument historique. Cette distinction souligne l’extraordinaire qualité de sa conception et de sa construction remarquable à la richesse patrimoniale de Montréal.

  10. andrew, I do have a couple, but I didn't want to overdo it. Maybe in a future post. But going back sounds good, too!

    mark, they're probably long gone...

    carolyn, I love cities, which is why I became a city planner. I've lived in cities most of my adult life until now. I'm enjoying the quiet countryside.

    evelyn, we lucked out yet again!

    gaynor, I'm sure it was. My hometown is a 4 hour drive south of Montréal and it was cold enough for me!

    judy, I recommend it! I wish we had more time to spend there, too.

    starman, it was actually quite pleasant out while we were there.

    t.b., thanks! I knew those buildings were there, but wasn't sure which one was which, so I didn't say anything. Thanks for the links!


Pour your heart out! I'm listening.