Standing as the seat to Montreal’s Roman Catholic Archdiocese, Mary, Queen of the World, Cathedral ranks 3rd in size of all churches in Quebec. It is surpassed only by the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre and Saint Joseph’s Oratory.
The church is situated on the corner of Metcalfe Street and Rene Levesque Boulevard, conveniently near both the Bonaventure Metro and Central transit stations in Montreal’s downtown area.
It is a prominent feature within Dorchester Square. The square itself is worth a visit given its 5 acres of municipal park land. The church structure, in essence, creates the eastern border of Place du Canada. Place du Canada affords an additional 150,000 square feet to the urban plaza.
The Cathedral is a combination of Renaissance and Baroque design. It is a one fifth scale model of Rome’s Saint Peters Basilica. The church as a whole is just less than 50,000 square feet and stands a majestic 252 feet tall. The baptismal font is made of marble and is emphasized by a stucco crucifix. This crucifix is heralded as one of the most significant of all of Quebec’s religious sculptures. The church façade features 13 statues representing the patron saints of Montreal.
The second bishop of Montreal commissioned the cathedral to be built following the destruction of Saint-Jacques Cathedral by fire in 1852. Construction of the facility began in 1875. Some time elapsed in between the bishop’s request and the actual start of the project. This was due to controversies created by his desire to replicate Saint Peters Basilica in Rome, as well as the new church’s location.
The cathedral is open to the public Monday through Friday from 7AM to 6PM, Saturday from 7:30AM to 6PM and Sunday 8:30AM to 6:00PM. The church is an official National Historic Site of Canada.