One of the most well established private galleries in Montreal, this prestigious space specializes in contemporary Canadian art, especially in the Inuit communities from the north. Pieces range from traditional soapstone carvings to surprisingly complex and occasionally harrowing depictions of animals and other figures. Elca caters to a very upscale clientele.
Notre-Dame's twin towers have served as an Old Montreal landmark since the Neo-Gothic basilica was finished in 1829. Today they continue to be the focal point, where tourists disembark from buses and calèche drivers line up for passengers. The interior glows with gilded statuary and gold-leafed fleurs de lys, and is home to one of the largest pipe organs in the world. The Montreal Symphony Orchestra performs its Christmas production of Messiah here at the Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal or the Notre-Dame Basilica.
Straddling a two-kilometer (1.24 mile) stretch along the St. Lawrence River, the Old Port of Montreal has operated as an active hub since 1611 when it was used as a fur trading post by French settlers. It has since transformed into a bustling area which beckons tourists and locals alike. Besides being home to a bevy of attractions like the IMAX Theatre, the Montreal Science Centre and the Montreal Clock Tower, it is also a recreational wonderland, especially during winter months. Marked by ice sculptures, skating and a lively nativity scene, as well as vibrant festivals like the Festival Montréal en lumière, the Old Port of Montreal hosts a decidedly thriving cultural scene. With numerous dining options, bargain shops, trendy boutiques, tours and riverfront activities dotting its pretty vicinity, the Old Port is an all inclusive attraction in itself.
Saint Joseph's Oratory in Montreal is the nation's largest church, its regal dome second in height only to St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. A small chapel dedicated to Saint Joseph was built at the site in 1904 by Brother André, renowned for his miraculous ability to heal the injured and ailing. He was later beatified in 1982 and canonized in 2010. Completed in 1960, the renaissance church that replaced the original shrine encompasses a basilica, a votive chapel lined with discarded crutches, and the heart of Brother André amongst several other treasures. Outside, the Stations of the Cross grace the sculpture garden where scenes from the film Jésus of Montréal were shot. The oratory itself is a striking beauty that dominates the skyline for miles around, its elegant dome rising high above the bucolic scene. One of the world's most revered Catholic shrines and an important place of pilgrimage, Saint Joseph's Oratory inspires wonder in the hearts of the devout and the simply curious.
Plans for the construction of the Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral first began in 1852, soon after Saint-Jacques Cathedral was destroyed by fire. At the behest of Ignace Bourget, the architect Victor Bourgeau was assigned the ambitious task of designing a cathedral in the image of the magnificent St Peter's Basilica in Rome. The architectural masterpiece was completed in 1894 and is renown today as one of Quebec's most revered religious sites. Inside a spectacular baldachin adorns the altar and elaborate paintings depict the early history of Montreal, while outside exquisitely wrought statues of the city's 13 patron saints watch over the people, replacing the 12 statues of Christ's apostles that adorn the exterior walls of St Peter's Basilica. The cathedral remains a sacred place of worship even as it attracts droves of tourists who are drawn to its austere beauty and artistic treasures.
Musée des Beaux-arts de Montréal has put together one of the best collections of fine art in North America. The museum moved to its present location just before the World War. The Jean-Noel Desmarais building holds most of the temporary exhibits while the permanent collection lies in the Benaiah Gibb building across the street. The museum also stages special programs such as lectures, noontime and evening concerts, and films.
Architect Henri-Maurice Perreault's magnificent structure is one of the city's most beautiful and famous. View the exterior either from Notre Dame Street or from Champ-de-Mars, the pleasant patch of green-space to the north where Montreal's original fortifications once stood. The striking marble Hall of Honour, which is usually open to the public, contains portraits of every Montreal mayor. Other historical events have included Charles de Gaulle's vive le Québec libre gaffe and the like. Call ahead for more details.
This monument is dedicated to Admiral Horatio Nelson, who lost his life in the Battle of Trafalgar.
Once the residence of Governor Claude de Ramezay, Château Ramezay Museum chronicles the rich history of Montreal. The history of this building dates back to the 18th Century when it was built and has been listed as an must-see historic sites by UNESCO. Now, it houses an impressive collection of antiques, photographs, paintings and costumes. This site is known for its frequent exhibitions from upcoming and veteran artists and has two permanent exhibitions.
Located behind the City Hall, this huge public space is a good place to relax, get a great view of downtown, and check out the remains of the old fortifications that surrounded the new city. Though the fortifications themselves were demolished in the 1820s as the city outgrew them, you can still see the pieces in the shape of two lines of stone. It's a fine vantage point from which to view the City Hall.
Galerie d'Art Le Bourget is a popular art gallery in Montreal. Established in 1997, it has been showcasing work of local as well as international artists on a regular basis. From oil paintings, to still life and abstract art, there are wide range of paintings from several artists. The art presented here is unique and beautiful. Artists such as Nathalie Chiasson, Raymond Caouette, Pascale Bellot and many more showcase their work. Drop by and see the beautiful artworks for yourself. Call for more information.
Apart from being one of the most historically significant places in the city, this square is also one of the city's most popular and lively. Watched over by Nelson's Column and lined with flowers and gardens, this is where artists, lovers, the hip and the semi-hip meet. It is also the port of entry for most visitors to Old Montreal. The best time to visit this square is in the summer, as it is then a car-free zone. Call or see the website to know more.