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the Fortifications
of Montréal…

… And its
Building Sites


Discovery Tour of Old Montréal’s
Archaeological Sites
Clicks on maps for complete version 

The sites depicted on this map illustrate the enclosure wall and the main buildings of the 18th-century fortified city. All of these structures are located within, or immediately outside, the city limits on the side facing the St-Laurent River. These sites were chosen because remains were already discovered there, or because there is a good chance of accessing and excavating more remains without major obstacles.

Some of the remains of the stone fortifications were unearthed, in situ, at Parc du Champ-de-Mars, at Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Museum of Archaeology and History, and at Les Remparts Restaurant on rue de la Commune.

Map of Discovery Tour

Québec, 18th-Century Fortified City. Québec 1982.

LAMBERT, Phyllis and Alan STEWART (Dir.).
Montréal, 18th-Century Fortified City.
Canadian Centre for Architecture, 1992.

Archaeological recording
 Archaeological recording. Photo: Ville de Montréal
Terms for the Fortifications
Parc du Champ-de-Mars
Champ-de-Mars site, bush-hammered stones Champ-de-Mars site, pieces of metal
Champ-de-Mars site, bush-hammered stones and pieces of metal. Photo: Ville de Montréal

A Parc du Champ-de-Mars—This is the only public space in Old Montréal where we can discover, in situ, the remains of a complete front from the 18th-century enclosure wall. The scarp—the inner wall or slope of a ditch, the counterscarp—the outer wall of a ditch; and the ditch itself are exposed along more than 250-metre which encompassed half of the Saint-Laurent stronghold to the west, and the Jesuit stronghold to the east. These elements exemplify a complete fortified front and demonstrate the rules of symmetry governing the construction of a fortified wall. Pieces of metal set in stone and linked to the door fastening system were found in two posterns. Vaulted passages carved into the scarp were reserved for military use.

B Rue Gosford—The scarp and counterscarp of the Jesuit stronghold can both be seen here. Rue Gosford

C  Rue Bonsecours—
This W-shaped flank is a type of layout caused by constraining topography in the construction of a fortification. In this case, the area between the citadelle and the marsh below is problematic.

Rue Bonsecours
Rue de la Commune D Rue de la Commune, stronghold of Québec—At the Faubourg Québec, we find the archaeological remains of the fortification and the military quarter: warehouses, barracks and the King’s stores.The King’s “Canoery”, where canoes were crafted, was built in 1709 and was the site of a recent archaeological excavation.
E Place Jacques-Cartier—The remains of both the government stronghold ands the residence of the Governor of Vaudreuil (1723-1803) are marked in the ground here. Archaeologists unearthed one house, its outbuildings, latrines, gardens, orchards and a street. In 1672, the door of Government House opened directly onto rue Saint-Charles (Place Jacques-Cartier East), and a steep embankment ran along rue Saint-Paul. Place Jacques-Cartier
Place Royale F Dating back to 1676 and a stronghold of the Port, Place Royale, rues Place-Royale East and West constituted Montreal’s first public place. The position of the scarp, the supporting wall of the terreplein—a level space used to mount a battery of guns—and the terreplein itself, are all visibly marked on the ground. The market door,which opened onto the river was also located here.

G Hôpital Général de Montréal (1693-1871), rue Saint-Pierre —The hospital occupied a large 4.5 hectare tract of land outside the walls at Pointe à Callière, and touched the shores of both the Saint-Pierre (Place d’Youville) and St-Laurent Rivers. This important building complex consisted mainly of a church—part of which still stands west of rue St-Pierre—a convent, a washing house, a windmill, gardens and cemeteries. Some remains of the church and the wing for the poor can both be seen on rue Saint-Pierre.

Hôpital Général de Montréal
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