Montreal, a city with French colonial history dating back to the 16th century, is located in the Quebec Province in Southeast Canada. Montreal is home to approximately 17.8 lakh people. The French Colonial history dates back to the 16th century and over a century as the industrial and financial Centre for Canada. This Legacy in Montreal has left behind a variety of buildings, including mills, warehouses, refineries that today stand as an invaluable insight into the city’s history.

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Montreal Architecture_©britannica

Montreal has a unique and distinguished cultural influence on English and French Traditions. It does not just follow an ever-ending tradition like the continent of North America of rock and jazz music, theatre, dance, music, and experimentations in visual arts but also a celebration of social and cultural events in the downtown area during summer.

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july festival_©go-montreal

The two successive colonizations in Montreal, French and British, have gifted the city with a juxtaposition of the old and the modern and wide variety of architectural styles along with fortification, which was destroyed between 1804 -1817.

As Montreal has undergone centuries of architectural development with an impact of different colonization the city stands to great tourist attraction and has structures that can showcase the change in architectural style over centuries.

1. Fort De La Montagne | Montreal Architecture

Fort De La Montagne consists of stone towers as French fortification stands as of the oldest structures in Montreal. It was constructed in 1694 and was named a Historic National Site of Canada.

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Montreal Architecture-fort de la montagne_©culturetrip

2. Mary, Queen Of The World Cathedral

The construction of the cathedral took place from 1870 to 1878. It is located in the downtown area and is the third-largest church in the province of Quebec. The Walls and floor are made of Marble which was imported from Italy.

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Montreal Architecture-mary,Queen of the world cathedral_©culturetrip

3. The City Hall

The city hall was constructed between 1872 -1878 and is referred to as Hotel de Ville de Montreal in French. It is a five-story building constructed in Second Empire Architectural Style located in the Old Montreal neighbourhood. It was designed for the seat of local government in Montreal. 

The original building was damaged due to a fire leaving only the outer wall of the structure and reconstructed in 1926 with steel structure built inside the ruins. The roof was remodelled into Beaux-Arts-inspired models with a copper roof.

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Montreal’s city hall_©culturetrip

4. St. Joseph’s Oratory

St. Joseph’s is the largest church in Canada situated on Westmount Summit and was built in 1917. The Basilica is associated with miraculous healing powers, and it stands as an important catholic pilgrimage site. It was designed in Renaissance Revival exterior and Art Deco Interior and also designed in a way where the setting sun falls in perfect alignment with the Centreline of the main steps of the Basilica.

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Montreal Architecture-ST.JOSEPH’S ORATORY_©Tourisme Montreal

5. The Sun Life Building | Montreal Architecture

The Sun Light Building was completed in 1931. It was the largest building in the British Empire and marked its historical significance with its usage as Britain’s gold reserve during World War 2.

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sun life building_©culturetrip

6. The Olympic Stadium

The multi-purpose stadium was designed for the 1976 summer Olympics. This Venue is currently used for events like conventions, trade shows, and concerts and is a tourist attraction in the city of Montreal. It was designed by a French Architect named Roger Taillibert with a retractable roof that could be opened and closed by cables suspended from a 175-meter tower. 

The stadium has been host to various events, and the building marks as an exemplary example of organic Modern Architecture.

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Montreal Architecture-olymic stadium_©insidethegames

7. 1000 De La Gauchetière

1000 de la Gauchetiere is a skyscraper located in the city Centre. It is known as Montreal’s tallest building by Roof Height. (205 meters, 51 floors). The distinctive feature of the building is the large indoor skating rink in the atrium. The building core is designed in concrete with steel making floor plates. It stands as an example of postmodern architecture.

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the 1000 de la Gauchetiere skyscraper_©culturetrip

8. The Pointe-a-Calliere

The Pointe-a-Calliere is the city museum of archaeology and history of old Montreal founded in 1992 to celebrate Montreal’s 350th Birthday. It consists of three pavilions, with each representing three different moments in the city’s colonial history. 

The museum displays artifacts from the first nations of the Montreal region; it also showcases the co-existence of French and British regimes and their influence on the territory over centuries. This museum attracts over 350,000 visitors every year and has received more than fifty national and international awards.


9. Montreal World Trade Centre | Montreal Architecture

The structure was completed in 1992 and is also known as a horizontal skyscraper. It is a shopping centre, a hotel complex, and an office located in Montreal. The complex united various small Victorian-era commercial buildings by articulating them into a larger form. It stands as an example of Historic and modern architecture with an aesthetic of classic late 19th-century looking building in a glass atrium.

Montreal Architecture-Montreal World Trade Centre_©culturetrip


MTL Blog. 2021. 25 Iconic Montreal Buildings That Are Architectural Masterpieces. [online] Available at:

[Accessed 28 August 2021].

Paskevics, E., 2021. The 10 Most Impressive Buildings in Montreal. [online] Culture Trip. Available at:

[Accessed 28 August 2021].


Disha is an architecture graduate from Nagpur University, 2021. Being an avid traveler, she has always tried to connect the city’s art & culture with architecture. She is a keen learner & an extremely creative individual who always seeks opportunities to enhance knowledge & experience in the field of architecture.