Hôtel de Ville (City Hall)
We spent our last day in Montreal walking the old city, Vieux-Montréal. The Place d'Arms, where old meets new, marks its beginning. Anchoring one end of Place d'Arms is the Basilique Notre-Dame-de-Montréal built in 1824. (An older Notre-Dame church once stood in the middle of the square.) Anchoring the opposite end is the Pantheon-inspired Bank of Montreal. Nineteenth and 20th century office buildings, each successively taller, flank each side of the Place. In the center is a statue of Paul de Chomedey, Sieur de Maisonneuve (1612-1676), the founder of Montreal.
Walking down Rue Notre-Dame from Place d'Armes, we saw the Hôtel de Ville (Montreal's City Hall). The City Hall was rebuilt into its present Beaux-Arts style in 1926.
Old stone houses dot the neighborhood beyond it. Of particular interest was the La Maison Pierre du Calvet
(Calvet House) on the corner of Rue Bonsecours and Rue St-Paul. Benjamin Franklin, on a mission to encourage Quebec to join the American Revolution, met with Pierre du Calvet in this house in 1775. (Calvet was later imprisoned for being a supporter of the Revolution.) The building was tied up with a large red bow (like the artist Christo had been there). We didn't find out what that was all about, but it made for a nice photo! An 18th century church nearby on Rue St-Paul is Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours
. Visible from nearly everywhere in Vieux-Montréal is the silver dome of Marché Bonsecours, which we passed coming back along Rue St.-Paul. Marché Bonsecours
dating from 1847 has had an interesting history, serving as a city hall, parliament, and public produce market. It's a popular exhibit and retail space today. At this point, we were at the Vieux-Port waterfront and its quays, where the modern Montreal skyline can be viewed.