Discover the Top Architectural Wonders of Montreal, Canada (2023)
Located in the Quebec province of Canada, Montreal is a city that has a rich history and impressive architecture. It is among the fascinating places to travel for vacationers and sight seekers. Montreal is home to some of North America’s top-rated buildings and landmarks worth watching.
The city was discovered in 1642 and is counted amongst the oldest cities in North America. Being a traveler, you can unveil many old and new buildings here. Along with the historic architecture, there is an abundance of cafes, restaurants, and markets to explore.
Discover the Top Architectural Wonders of Montreal, Canada
Let us look closely at some of the most phenomenon structures in Montreal.
1. Notre-Dame Basilica
To learn in-depth about the architectural impact of Montreal, you will have to understand the city’s deep roots in French Catholicism. Notre Dame Basilica is among the most integral examples of architecture emphasizing the religious connections to the town.
Architecture experts praise the church’s interior as a Gothic Revival marvel with many intricate carvings. Stained glass windows showcasing Montreal’s religious architecture constitute one of the most exquisite displays of the cathedral.
2. Sun Life Building
Montreal’s Sun Life Building played a key role in the second World War. It was the site of “Operation Fish,” which saw Britain transferring their gold reserve from early war-torn Europe into a vault far below the structure. The gold delivered in cartons was given labels of “fish” so that they weren’t checked. For paying Britain’s war expenditure, the gold was later sold off on the New York Stock Exchange.
3. Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral
A Baroque Revival building befitting its royal-sounding name is Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral. It is an attraction of the most remarkable architecture of Montreal, credited to its imitation of Rome’s St. Peter’s Basilica. Within the cathedral, the tourists can discover a superb Baroque Revival baldachin in red copper as well as gold leaf looking over the high altar.
4. Habitat 67
Habitat 67 is among the popular examples of the brutalist structure of Montreal. It was constructed in 1967, and over 50 million people flocked to witness the structure within just six months of its introduction at Expo 67. Moshe Safdie was the architect behind this wonderful masterpiece.
With time, the commercial decline of this mind-blowing apartment complex has ended up becoming a blessing. As per the critics, it did not change cheap housing the way Moshe Safdie planned. However, because of this one-of-a-kind structure, the career of Safdie was launched.
5. 1000 de la Gauchetière
One of Montreal’s tallest buildings, 1000 de la Guachetiére, is a postmodern structure. Due to the building’s creative references to the old buildings nearby, it makes for a fascinating stopover on every architecture tour of Montreal. 1000 de la Gauchetière 22 elevators and 500 indoor parking spaces. As well, the visitors can directly access Bonaventure Bus Terminus metro station that is situated on the South Shore.
6. St. Patrick’s Basilica
Saint Patrick’s Basilica was established in 1847 for Irish emigrants. Due to the famine and other hardships in Ireland, the number of Irish emigrants increased in Montreal. The New Gothic Church was initially constructed at the cape, offering a glimpse of the entire city. The town has witnessed tremendous development throughout its history. As a result, the chapel is encircled by contemporary Montreal.
The walls depict lots of noteworthy plates that are devoted to popular persons who attended services or were blessed here.
7. St. Joseph’s Oratory
The title of being one of Canada’s biggest churches goes to St. Joseph’s Oratory. This is among the tallest church domes in the world and is a minor basilica. The dome is designed of 2 shells, out of which one is an outer and the other is an inner shell. With its eight arches, a cross, a lantern, and an octagonal drum, the exterior dome architecturally replicates the Florence Cathedral.
8. Central Fire Station
Montreal’s Central Fire Station features classic architecture with decorative molded foliage and a tower giving a medieval-period appearance. It was fully constructed in the year 1903. The building was once used to serve as a fire station, and it later became the Montreal History Center in 1983.
9. Olympic Stadium
Olympic Stadium was constructed for the 1976 Summer Olympics. It is among the most distinct structures in the city. Moreover, the venue was once home to the Montreal Expos, and it has hosted lots of football matches. It currently hosts special events such as trade shows and music concerts. The Olympic Stadium is always a wonderful sight to behold, despite the movable roof’s malfunction and its expense.
10. Montreal World Trade Centre
Montreal’s World Trade Centre is also known as a horizontal skyscraper” among many architectural guides of the city. A glass canopy was put in place by architects to connect a whole city block of ancient structures. This culminates in a vast indoor village offering visitors year-round access to some of the most popular structures of the city. The company Arcop was the originator of this impressive creation.
11. Casino de Montreal
The Casino de Montreal was considered the largest gambling house in the country when it was initially opened in 1993. The range of gambling games here is quite extensive. You can play lotto, poker, keno, and lotteries here. There are also 3200 advanced slot machines along with 120 gaming tables. Casino de Montreal is open 24 hours, 365 days. The age limit to enter this gambling house is 18 years and above. Inside, you can also find four pubs, four restaurants, a conference hall, a cabaret, and a room for banquets.
12. Altitude Montréal
Altitude Montreal is situated at 1195 University Street at the corner of Cathcart Street in Downtown Montreal. It is a 33-story building that is 124 meters in height. Inside the building, you can come across numerous hotel-style services offered to residents, including a lounge, business center, concierge service, a pool, a fitness center, and so on.
13. Le Port-Royal Apartments
Situated on Sherbrooke Street in the Golden Square Mile district is an apartment building, Le Port-Royal. This 33-story and 122-meter-tall structure was built in 1964. The modernist style (with the application of concrete and glass façade) was employed in its construction. Initially, it used to be Canada’s largest residential building.
14. City Hall
One of the most spectacular city halls in Canada is situated in Montreal. It is regarded as one of the greatest representations of Napoleon III-style architecture. The inside of the structure was demolished due to a large fire in 1922, which only left the outer walls intact. The restoration was supervised by architect Louis Parent and involved the installation of a new steel structure within the still-standing building’s shell. The rooftop of the city hall was inspired by the Beaux-Arts architecture style.
15. Montreal Biosphere
Being a stunning facility, Montreal Biosphere dominates the Olympic Park. It is also called “Space for Life” and is a habitat for over 4500 creatures from 220 distinct species. The phenomenal space replicates five of the Americas’ most significant ecosystems, which include the Labrador Coast, the sub-Antarctic Islands, the tropical rainforest, the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and the Laurentian maple forest. The visitors can also come face-to-face with quite a few miraculous creatures like penguins and lynxes.
16. Bonsecours Market
Bonsecours Market is an ancient market that is recognized as one of the best heritage structures in Canada. A tour to Montreal might seem incomplete without the exploration of Bonsecours Market. At present, the space is full of uncountable shops, restaurants, displays, boutiques, and events. You can even shop for souvenirs, try out some of the delectable dishes, and enjoy a Montreal craft beer here.
Montreal is well-known for its great architectural icons and historical landmarks. Each of its structures tells the tale of the inimitable history of the city closely entangled with French culture. List all of the above-discussed structures and landmarks to make your visit more meaningful.
Montreal is overall a worth-visiting city as it gives plenty of sightseeing opportunities. It can be a little cold during the winter months and is also called the party capital of Canada. As you are done touring some of the most phenomenal locations, conclude your day enjoying any chic bar or club.