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Pointe-à-Callière and Place Royale

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

Place Royale and the Amerindian presence

Place Royale is the latest incarnation of a site that has been transformed over and over again, but has been used for trade purposes since very early on. Long before the Europeans arrived, Amerindians camped here. The artifacts discovered in Old Montréal, ranging from potsherds and stone tools to remains of food and campfires, testify to at least 2,000 years of human occupation.

Between 1642 and 1676, this public area was the location of annual fur-trading fairs, as Amerindians brought their pelts to trade for various goods with the French: the beginnings of what would prove to be Montréal's main economic engine for years to come. The site later became the Marketplace, Customs Square and, since 1892, Place Royale. Today, remains of all these different historical periods lie beneath the square, and the raised platform commemorates the signature on this very spot, in 1701, of the Peace Treaty of Montréal, which put an end to the wars between the Amerindians and the French.


Fragments of a Huron-style vase
Fragments of a Huron-style vase dating from about 1500 A.D., unearthed in Place Royale.







The old Custom House

Place de la Grande-Paix

Pointe-à-Callière and place Royale

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Old Montréal

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Last updated:
September 2001