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Place Jacques-Cartier

Tour route Next section Previous section Back to Notre-Dame Est Boulevard Saint-Laurent Rue Notre-Dame West The Old Seminary and Notre-Dame Place d’Armes Rue Saint-Jacques Des Récollets Around Rue de l’Hôpital Rue Saint-Paul, near Place d’Youville Place d’Youville Western end of the Old Port Pointe-à-Callière and Place Royale Saint-Paul and de la Commune From Saint-Amable to Saint-Gabriel Place Jacques-Cartier Eastern end of the Old Bonsecours From Bonsecours to Berri Rue Notre-Dame East Champ-de-Mars
An Amerindian trail,
then a "castle"...

Place Jacques-Cartier
Archaeological digs in 1991.


In the beginning, an Amerindian trail...
A trail once passed through here, across from the present-day square, leading back into the woods. Yet traces and remains discovered where Rue Saint-Paul now runs shows that it was more than a simple stopping-off point—Natives stayed here for long periods, living from fishing and perhaps even planting crops.

The façade of the "Château" de Vaudreuil

The façade of the "Château'" de Vaudreuil, drawn by Gaspard Chaussegros de Léry in 1727
(after it was built).


 ... then the new market, and a public square  

After 1850... 

Place Jacques-Cartier 

... then a "castle"  
In the days of fortified Montréal, the Governor had a prestigious home erected here. Nobles and craftspeople alike frequented the hôtel de Vaudreuil, built for Philippe de Rigaud, Marquis de Vaudreuil, and modelled on the hotel particuliers of France. The "Château," as it was nicknamed, later served as a residence for French governors and, following the Conquest, as a boys' college. It was destroyed by fire in 1803. 

Evidence of earlier occupation—gardens, outbuildings, orchards and the main building—lies just below the surface, in very good condition, a treasure trove for Montréal archaeologists. In the remodelled Place Jacques-Cartier, darker paving sotnes mark the footprint of the Château's walls.

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Last updated: September 2001