Rue de l’Hôpital & Around

Old Montréal

Named for a hospice set up by nuns in the 17th century, the Rue de l’Hôpital and adjoining streets are full of architectural quirks and highlights. On the corner of Rue St-François-Xavier, the Canadian Pacific Telegraph Chambers was the 19th-century equivalent of a national internet provider. It houses condominiums today but the wild-eyed keystone over the entrance remains. The Lewis Building was built as the head office of the Cunard Shipping Lines.

One mischievous character on the facade is holding a bag full of loot; a more scholarly colleague is taking notes. The Centaur Theatre performs English-language plays in the old Montréal Stock Exchange building. Opened in 1903, the huge columns recall imperial Rome while the interior has sumptuous marble and wood paneling.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Old Montréal attractions

1. Fondation Phi

0.04 MILES

Opened in 2007, this excellent contemporary-art gallery in a heritage building features mind-bending works by artists such as Valérie Belin, Ryoji Ikeda…

2. Vieux Séminaire de St-Sulpice

0.08 MILES

The seminary by the Basilique Notre-Dame and its grounds are closed to the public, but you can look at them through the gate. The Catholic order of…

3. Guardian Trust Building

0.08 MILES

One of several grand buildings along Rue St-Jacques, the 1902 Guardian Trust Building has helmeted women's heads guarding the entrance while those of…

4. Molson Bank Building


The Molson beer-brewing dynasty had its own bank, but the Molson Bank Building looks more like a royal residence; heads of founder William and his two…

5. Basilique Notre-Dame

0.11 MILES

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

6. Old Customs House

0.12 MILES

The former customs house was built in 1836 and lies on a historic stretch of Old Montréal.

7. Place d'Armes

0.12 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…

8. Centre Phi

0.12 MILES

One of Old Montréal's most innovative art incubators, Centre Phi stages thought-provoking exhibitions, embracing a wide range of styles and genres. Four…