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Promenade de la Cathedrale

This architectural wonder fuses the old with the new, underlining Montreal’s drive for historical and cultural fusion. Sitting on top of McGill Metro and on the corner of Rue Ste-Catherine, the huge shopping complex acts as both a beacon and a tunnel between the world outside and the world inside.

The Christ Cathedral Church was the first church in Montreal to re-invent itself to fit into its contemporary setting. Originally built in 1859, it had no idea it sat on the site that would later become the bustling modern metropolis of today. The church is one of the finer examples of English neo-gothic, with accented pyres, pointed roofs and ornate molding. From the front, you might not have any idea that the church is fused with the present day. If you climb up from Ste-Catherine though, you’ll see the olive-tinted windows of a beautiful walkway that protects the church’s inner garden from the outside world. Inspired by monastery gardens, this flower-speckled seclusion is designed with the busy bustle of office life and shopping in mind.

The façade and gardens are nothing compared to the marvel that the church is built upon. In February 1987, construction started on building a shopping centre that would connect the then Eaton’s to its department store cousin, the Hudson Bay Company. Locals watched in awe as a 50-foot hole appeared beneath the church, the entire old site being held aloft by a huge concrete column, giving the church its nickname ‘Cathedral-on-stilts.’ Finished the same year, the Promenade de la Cathedrale was a four-level project, connecting the church to the Underground City and to a huge underground parking lot.

The 10,000 square-foot plaza has become so popular that people passing through its halls often don’t know that they are standing on one of Montreal’s most interesting urban projects.


Promenades de la Cathedrale

625 Ste-Catherine W.

History and Shopping Fusion

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