Along the south side of Rue Notre-Dame Est near Place Jacques-Cartier, three courthouses stand bunched together. The most fetching is the neoclassical Vieux Palais de Justice, Montréal’s old justice palace and oldest courthouse (1856) that’s now an annex of the Hôtel de Ville. It’s a popular backdrop for wedding photos.
The Édifice Ernest Cormier from the 1920s was used for criminal trials before being turned into a conservatory and later a court of appeal. The ugly stepsister is the oversized Palais de Justice, built in 1971 when concrete and smoked glass were all the rage.