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2019-09-26 00:19:01

History and attractions of Old Montreal for foreign students

History and attractions of Old Montreal for foreign students

The Canadian city Montreal attracts millions of tourists because of its rich history and many preserved architectural monuments: some of them have been standing since the mid-17th century, telling the history of that time. If you are planning a trip to Canada, be sure to devote a day or two to this city.

Montreal had two waves of development: during the French colony and the British colony - SMAPSE experts will tell about both periods and key sights that have survived to this day. Old Montreal received historical heritage status in 1964.

History of Old Montreal

The city was founded in 1642 by order of the Notre Dame Society: a fort was built a year later and the first settlers arrived, whose task was to educate and religiously cultivate the local Indians. The first name of the city is Ville-Marie.

Times of New France

In 1663, the "Society of Our Lady of Montreal" went bankrupt, and control of the city passed to the French king: as early as 1665, 1,200 troops arrived from France, whose task was to maintain order and build new facilities. The first streets that have survived to this day are Saint-Paul, Notre-Dame and Saint-Jacques. In parallel, the first hospitals and a church were erected.

At the beginning of the 18th century, the city was renamed Montreal, at the same time, fortifications were built the height of urban buildings to protect against a possible British attack. But fortifications were not needed, since the city had a more serious problem - fires. The disaster rapidly destroyed houses, after which the French king forbade to use wood for the construction of buildings. The decree was executed only by rich people during the construction of the church: the stone was expensive, so the poor people continued to use the tree in their buildings.

Times of New Britain

In 1763, the city passed to the British: in the appearance of Montreal, this did not appear immediately, since the British used the same technologies and building styles. An exception was the transfer of many Catholic churches outside the city. The population of Montreal grew rapidly, and the size of the city increased.

The years 1765 and 1768 became terrible for the residents of Montreal: two fires occurred that destroyed dozens of houses and buildings. The government and residents of the city have devoted all their efforts to rebuild the Old City using new technologies and safety techniques. Another severe fire occurred only in 1803: he destroyed the church, prison, and residential buildings. In this fire, the estate of the Marquis of Vodrey was completely burned out, whose land was immediately bought by speculators and sold to the city: the Market Square was founded here.

In 1804, there was not enough space for the construction of new facilities in the city, so the authorities ordered the demolition of the fortress walls, expanding the territory of Montreal.

Main Attractions of Old Montreal

  • Notre Dame Cathedral - a majestic basilica built in neo-Gothic style
  • City Hall - one of the beautiful buildings of Montreal, built in 1873
  • The Field of Mars is a place between the Town Hall and the Ville-Marie motorway, which offers stunning views of the center of Montreal;
  • Remains of masonry on the Champ de Mars - a reminder of the defensive fort
  • Nelson's Column - Montreal's oldest monument built in 1809
  • Market Square - founded in 1803, in 1845 it was renamed Cartier Square.

Interesting Facts

  • 11 million tourists visit Old Montreal every year
  • Only 7 houses of the New France era are preserved in the city
  • After colonization by the British, the Golden Square area appeared - an elite part of the city, built up by the richest people of Montreal
  • Bank of Montreal is the oldest in Canada .


The object belongs to the districts of the city.

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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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