Montreal architecture

A rich visual narrative of yesterday and tomorrow!

From the historic Maison Saint-Gabriel, built in 1698 (Pointe Saint-Charles), to the innovative Symphonia Pop condominiums (Île des Sœurs) and the celebrated Habitat 67 (Cité du Havre), Montreal’s architecture is a richly illustrated testament to both what was, what is and what’s to come.

Many 17th- and 18th-century houses still stand proudly. While the very name of Old Montreal announces its patrimonial character, many ancestral buildings can nevertheless be found throughout the municipality of Montreal. In the borough of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, for example, there is the Maison Descaris (1698), in Dorval, the Maison Jacques-Morin (1690), and in Ville-Marie, the Maison Frederick-Thomas-Judah (1875). To see more, visit imtl.org and click on the “Old Houses” page.

Another typical Montreal architectural style, the row house dates back to the last century, to the time of industrialization, when an influx of thousands of rural migrants descended on the city to look for work. As vertical constructions required little land, row houses were less costly to build, and soon, duplexes and triplexes were springing up all over the city. They took up entire blocks, from one street corner to the other, creating successive patterns of doorways and, especially, winding exterior staircases, which, today, never fail to fascinate tourists. You can find these in a number of districts, especially the Plateau, Hochelaga, Villeray and Rosemont.

A wave of modernism subsequently swept over Montreal with the emergence of a new and remarkably creative architectural trend. Habitat 67 (Ville-Marie), 2-22 (Quartier des spectacles), the Olympic Stadium, the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium (Hochelaga) and Place des Arts (Quartier des spectacles) became the symbols of this revolution.

What does the city’s architectural future hold? Several avant-garde residential projects that flaunt bold new architectural designs, including the TAK Village (Rosemont), the YUL condominium complex(downtown), the Carré Norseman (Saint-Laurent), the Bass condos (Griffintown) and Le V (downtown) are already providing a few glimpses.