I explored downtown Montréal after visiting Parc Olympique. My first stop was at Christ Church Cathedral, an Anglican cathedral built in 1859 and consecrated in 1867. The first Anglican cathedral was located in Vieux-Montréal. It was built in 1814 but burned down in 1856.
From there, I walked to Cathédrale Marie-Reine-du-Monde, built in 1894. It’s the third largest church in Québec and a 1/5 replica of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City. It was originally consecrated as St. James Cathedral but was rededicated in 1955. Unfortunately, it was closed.
Across the street is the Sun Life Building. This historic office building was built between 1913 and 1931. It stands 24 stories high and at the time it was built was the largest building by volume in the entire British Empire.
Next to the cathedral is Place du Canada, a park with a cenotaph and the Macdonald Monument, which honors John A. Macdonald, the first Prime Minister of Canada. It’s used for Remembrance Day ceremonies every November 11. Across the street is Square Dorchester, an old square dating back to 1878. There are four monuments in the square including the Boer War Memorial, the only equestrian statue in Montréal. Both Place du Canada and Square Dorchester were actually developed together as Dominion Square.
The shopping street of Rue Sainte-Catherine was the next part of my tour, followed by a walk down Rue Crescent and Rue Sherbrooke. I had been in these areas before, so I didn’t make any special stops. Rue Crescent has a good nightlife scene that I took advantage of the last two visits. It turns into an open air festival the week of the Canadian Grand Prix.
I walked up Rue Crescent to Rue Sherbrooke, where the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal (Museum of Fine Arts) is located. Across the street is the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul, a Presbyterian church built in 1932 after the merger of two older churches in 1918.
A bit further down Sherbrooke is Le Château, a magnificent apartment building constructed in 1926. It’s home to several famous residents.
You might want to pop down into the Underground City, a 12km2 maze connecting apartments, hotels, banks, offices, shops, restaurants and seven metro stations. Some people can live their lives in Montréal without ever having to go outside in winter!