Built in the 1870s and rebuilt after a 1922 fire, Montreal City Hall has long found itself at the center of Quebec history. In 1967, the building hosted one of the most significant political moments in the province’s recent past, when then–French President Charles de Gaulle gave a rousing speech from the balcony—one that spurred Quebec’s separatist movement.
Montreal City Hall is one of many landmark historic buildings in Old Montreal (Vieux-Montréal). Walking tours of this part of the city often take participants to Montreal City Hall, as well as to Notre-Dame Basilica, Bonsecours Market, Place d’Armes, and Place Jacques-Cartier. Guided tours of Montreal City Hall are available on a walk-in basis at select times throughout the year, and include access to the council chamber, the terrace, and the mayor’s gallery. Visitors can also explore parts of the building, including the Hall of Honor, independently.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Montreal City Hall is a must for politicos and anyone with an interest in Quebec history.
- Access to some parts of the building, such as the council chamber, can be restricted depending on the government’s schedule of events.
- Montreal City Hall can be accessed by wheelchair via the Gosford Street entrance.
How to Get There
Montreal City Hall is in Old Montreal, near the north end of Place Jacques-Cartier. The closest Metro station is Champ-de-Mars, which is served by the Orange Line.
When to Get There
If you want to do a tour, come on a weekday in summer, when tours run most frequently. In winter, tours take place only once a week. If you’re in the area at night, consider passing by the building just to see it from the outside—it’s beautifully illuminated after dark.
Architectural Features and Artworks
Built in French Second Empire style, Montreal City Hall is rich with ornate architectural and decorative details, from turrets and mansard roofs to chandeliers and stained-glass windows. City Hall also holds a collection of about 150 artworks, including portraits of former Montreal mayors, paintings, sculptures, tapestries, and photographs by contemporary Quebec artists.