Old Montréal

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.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Old Montréal attractions

1. Cours Le Royer

0.13 MILES

Montréal’s first hospital was founded on this narrow lane by Jeanne Mance in 1644. Later a huge commercial complex was built here, leaving several…

3. Place Jacques-Cartier

0.15 MILES

The liveliest spot in Old Montréal, this gently inclined square hums with performance artists, street musicians and the animated chatter from terrace…

4. Hôtel de Ville

0.15 MILES

Montréal’s handsome City Hall was built between 1872 and 1878, then rebuilt after a fire in 1926. Its rigid square-based dome and nod to the baroque makes…

5. Place d'Armes

0.16 MILES

This open square is framed by some of the finest buildings in Old Montréal, including its oldest bank, first skyscraper and Basilique Notre-Dame. The…

6. Basilique Notre-Dame

0.16 MILES

Montréal's famous landmark, Notre Dame Basilica, is a 19th-century Gothic Revival masterpiece with spectacular craftsmanship – a visually pleasing, if…

7. Bank of Montreal

0.17 MILES

Modeled after the Pantheon in Rome, the grand colonnaded edifice of Canada’s oldest chartered bank, built in 1847, dominates the north side of Place d…

8. Château Ramezay

0.17 MILES

A home of French governors in the early 18th century, this mansion is one of the finest examples from the ancien régime. It was built for the 11th…