An Architect's Tour of Montreal

An Architect's Tour of Montreal

Photo of Le Meridien Versailles Montreal
An Architecture map by

The city is awash in landmarks and world-renown buildings. Explore our must-see list and have a look around.

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    On your trip to Montreal, Canada, do not miss a visit to the Sun Life Building. This historic building is at Dorchester Square across the Central Station and Queen Elizabeth Hotel.  One-block to the west of the building is the Windsor Station. Sun Life Building is strategically located between two major Metro lines. You can access this building by car through Ville-Marie and Bonaventure expressways. 
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    Place Ville Marie is definitely one of the most majestic buildings in Quebec, Montreal. The modern version of this building was constructed to headquarter the Royal Bank of Canada in 1960. Place Ville-Marie features a huge underground shopping mall that has over 1600 shops, businesses, offices and restaurants. Apart from this the building is a part of Montreal’s metro station network and features tunnels and suburban transportation terminal. 
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    Of all the skyscrapers in the city of Montreal, Canada, 1000 de la Gauchetière is the tallest, touching the city’s approved limit of 205m. This building is 673 feet high and has 51 floors. One of the features that make this a famous tourist attraction is its atrium that has a vast skating rink. It was built in 1992 and is an excellent example of postmodern architecture comparable to JPMorgan Chase Tower in the city of Dallas, Texas.
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    If you have a penchant for history and its invaluable footprints, then Pointe-à-Callière Museum in Montreal is definitely a place to visit. This museum houses rare collections and artifacts unearthed during a decade of digging. Visit this museum and you can trace the history of this city right from the Natives era.
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    In keeping with Canada’s impressive architectural tradition, the Canadian center for Architecture was constructed in 1979 by Phyllis Lambert. This is a renowned museum and research center that promotes public understanding and advances knowledge. CCA is also vocal about widening debate and thought on architectural history, practice, theory and its societal relevance. 
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    Pollack Hall, named for Maurice Pollack and supported by the Pollack Foundation, presents 400 concerts annually and plays host to large ensemble performances.  From Opera and Jazz, the performances at this stunning venue showcase young and exciting talent, bringing fresh interpretations to a broad selection of repertoire from traditional to ultra modern. An exquisite room in a historic building brings intimacy and warmth to soaring voices and inspired music.
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    This major public library was specifically designed to encourage the discovery and exploration of BAnQ's collections with free and open access. Materials from the universal collection are available for circulation. The building, each of its six levels fostering a different atmosphere, opened to the public in 2005. Its patrons include scholars and the general public alike. It welcomes close to 50,000 visitors each week.
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    Cité du Havre is a modern concept, and constitutes what is effectively a modern development of the geography of Montreal. The area is for the most part only as old as the development of the Expo 67 site, which involved using rubble pulled from the development of the Montreal Metro to extend the eastern part of the island, facing the Saint Lawrence River. The Mackay Pier (Jetée Mackay), an entirely man-made peninsula, was built between 1891 and 1898 and named at first Guard Pier.
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    Head all the way to Aires Libres, artsy area of the Sainte-Catherine Street East turned into a pedestrian zone with pink balls hung from the buildings. Then cross the St. Lawrence river on the Jacques Cartier Bridge to see stunning views of the city from the bridge. 
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    Enter on the southeast of the Island of Montreal. The island is a public park with a colorful history, including having a prison for war prisoners in the 1940s. The archipelago of which Saint Helen’s Island is a part was as the site of Expo 67, a World’s Fair on the theme of Man and His World in 1967.
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    The Montreal Biosphère was built as the pavilion of the United States for the 1967 World Fair Expo 67. Today the Biosphère is an environment museum offering interactive activities and presents exhibitions about the major environmental issues related to water, climate change, air, ecotechnologies, and sustainable development.
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    Habitat 67, or simply Habitat, is a model community and housing complex in Montreal, Canada, designed by Israeli–Canadian architect Moshe Safdie. It was originally conceived as his master’s thesis in architecture at McGill University and then built as a pavilion for Expo 67. Habitat 67 is widely considered an architectural landmark and one of the most recognizable and significant buildings in both Montreal and Canada.
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