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Christ Church Cathedral

Discover neo-Gothic architecture, soaring choral music and a modern engineering miracle at Montreal’s “floating church.”

Set against the backdrop of the soaring, glass skyscraper, Tour KPMG, and flanked by the busy stores of Saint Catherine Street, Christ Church Cathedral is a tranquil haven in downtown Montreal. Take a tour of the interior or time your visit for a service. Christ Church Cathedral provides a warm and welcoming break from the busy world outside.

Constructed in 1859 on soft ground, by 1920 the church had sunk so far that its stone steeple had developed a four-foot (1.2-meter) lean. In 1987, the Promenades Cathédrale underground shopping mall was built beneath the cathedral as a stabilizing measure. For months, the cathedral stood on stilts, earning it the name “the floating church.” Today, the cathedral’s basement level is the top floor of a vast mall below.

Wander around the grounds to see the church’s gorgeous exterior. Pointed arches and bright red doors line a colorful stone building crowned by a pointed, black tower. Contrasting with the sleek 34-story skyscraper behind it, the church is a favorite with photographers.

Take a tour of the interior to see a variety of artifacts from the cathedral’s history. Look for an 18th-century copy of Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper that stands above the choir stalls to the right of the altar. This is the only surviving relic of the old Christ Church Cathedral that burned down in 1856. To experience the cathedral’s acclaimed musical program, join the midmorning Choral Eucharist or midafternoon Choral Eveningsong on Sundays. 

After church, browse the selection of 60 boutiques and restaurants in the shopping mall below. This is part of Montreal’s extensive Underground City, which runs beneath much of Downtown. It’s a great way to get around this part of the city during wintry weather.

Admission to Christ Church Cathedral is free, and complimentary guided tour leaflets in both English and French are available. Parking is available for a fee in the underground garage below the church. The site is only a few blocks from Montreal Central Station, so it’s easily accessible by bus or metro train.


Guide to Exploring Christ Church Cathedral


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