Lonely Planet review
This recently renovated square is framed by some of the finest buildings in Old Montréal, including its oldest bank, first skyscraper and Basilique Notre-Dame. The square’s name references the bloody battles that took place here as religious settlers and First Nations tribes clashed over control of what would become Montréal. At its center stands the Monument Maisonneuve , dedicated to city founder Paul de Chomedey, sieur de Maisonneuve.
The red sandstone building on the north side of the square is the New York Life Insurance Building , Montréal’s first skyscraper (1888). It’s said to be built with the blocks used for ballast on ships bringing goods to Montréal. Next door, the Aldred Building is made of limestone and was designed to emulate the Empire State Building. Completed in 1931, it has an opulent, L-shaped, art-deco lobby. On the west side of the square, the Bank of Montréal was Canada’s first permanent bank.
Near the south side of the square, you’ll find horse-drawn carriages waiting to take you for a ride.