The most glamorous building along Rue St-Jacques is probably the Royal Bank Building, the city’s tallest building (22 stories) when it was built in 1928. Pass under the royal coat of arms into a banking hall that resembles a Florentine palace; the coffered ceilings are of Wedgwood porcelain tiles and the walls display insignias of eight provinces, Montréal (St George’s Cross) and Halifax (a yellow bird).

The Crew Cafe is one of the businesses here, and is a head-turning place (literally: upwards) to take in all the architectural features inside.