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A rich history of religious art and architecture makes Montreal a favorite destination for religious tourists from all over the world. While there are hundreds of beautiful and architecturally stunning churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques in Montreal’s dynamic cultural landscape, the foremost destinations for religious tourist in Montreal include the Notre Dame Basilica, The Cross on top of the mountain, St Joseph’s Oratory, and Notre Dame de Bon-Secours chapel.

Montreal Basilica, Photo by SeveKC via Flickr

The Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal

The Basilica is one of Montreal’s oldest and most well-known religious sites. Built on the site of a smaller church that dates back to 1657, the Basilica features a striking example of Gothic revival architecture and a breathtaking interior, with a spectacular central altar towering under a deep azure ceiling speckled with 24 carat gold stars. Two soaring towers house the world-famous bells, the great bell in the western tower weighing 11 tons!

Mass in the Basilica takes place place daily. During the week mass is at 7:30 am and 12:15 pm, on Saturdays at 5:00pm, and on Sundays at 8:00, 9:30, 11:00am, and 5:00 pm. Please note that the services are in French.

The Basilica is open to visitors and for prayer most other times. Entrance is 5 dollars.  More information on scheduling can be found here.

Where to Stay

The most convenient neighborhood that affords easy access to the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal is the Old Port. offers a selection of furnished apartments just steps away from the Basilica at the beautiful 888 Francois-Xavier building. These convenient apartments feature comfortable livings spaces, fully equipped kitchens, and all the amenities from home, in addition to their incredible locations. Apartments like the beautiful Cosmopolitan apartment featuring a stunning city view. Michelangelo apartment

The Cross Atop Mount Royal, a religious and cultural landmark

The original settlement on the banks of the mountain was named Ville Marie. In gratitude, Maisonneuve erected the cross atop the mountain after praying to the Virgin Mary to save the settlement from a flood in 1642.

The modern day illuminated cross has been a part of the Montreal landscape since 1924.

How to get there

The Cross is accessible by several beautiful pathways through Mount Royal Park, as well as a scenic road that winds up the mountain from either side of the city. Mount Royal Park is located roughly in the centre of the city and is accessible from various neighborhoods. To drive Camillien-Houde Drive or Remembrance Road, pay parking lots are clearly marked along the way. Bus Route 11 runs over the mountain from Avenue Mont-Royale and Cote-des-Neiges Road, the bus stops at Mont-Royal metro. Expect to walk to the cross, it is only directly accessible by walking path.

St Joseph’s Oratory, on the banks of Mount Royal

Today religious tourism is on the increase worldwide, and Montreal is no different. 2010 saw the canonization of Brother Andre at St Joseph’s Oratory, long a favorite destinations for pilgrims

from around the world especially those seeking healing and support. With the worldwide attention garnered by our beloved local saint came an increase in religious tourist eager to visit Montreal’s landmark religious sights.

Mass Schedule and Access to St. Joseph’s Oratory

St Joseph’s Oratory is located on Queen Mary Road, near Cote-des Neiges Road, there is a shuttle to take visitors from Queen Mary Road to the Oratory. The Oratory is accessible to persons with reduced mobility, and there is an elevator inside so you can avoid the stairs. Additionally the oratory provides a free wheelchair service.

The Oratory can be accessed by car, there is plenty of parking, or by public transportation. From the Snowdon or Cote-des-Neiges Metro Stations, the 51, 166, and 165 bus routes provide access.

From the furnished apartments at 888 Francois-Xavier, the Oratory is about a half an hour away via public transportation, and fifteen minutes by car. Enjoy your stay in one of the most beautiful areas in the Montreal, as well as easy access to many other religious sites in the city.

A detailed schedule of masses in English can be found here.

Back to the Old Port: Notre Dame de Bon-Secours chapel and museum

The Notre Dame de Bon-Secours chapel has historically been a favorite destination for religious visitors and pilgrims. It also has a history as a haven for seafarers asking for a safe journey or returning with gratitude from the sea. The nautical theme is reflected in the interior of this beautiful chapel and by the keepsakes left by pilgrims over the years.

The statue of the Virgin Mary looking out onto the St. Laurent is said to be the inspiration for the lines from Leonard Cohen’s famous song Suzanne:

and the sun pours down like honey

on our lady of the harbour.

For a unique 19 stop auditory guided tour of the Notre Dame de Bon-Secours Chapel you can download a podcast here. Montebello

Book Your Stay with has a wide selection of beautifully furnished apartments conveniently located in the Old Port with easy access to the Notre Dame Basilica, as well as the beautiful Notre Dame de Bon-Secours chapel and museum. Stay in comfort and security in a fully furnished apartment in any one of our amazing locations in Montreal. Call today to find out more.

-Monika Schmidt