What a majestic sight the Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal is, as it towers over plush and meticulously kept gardens. The long road which leads one towards the entrance allows one ample time to reflect on the churches beauty as you make your way towards its front entrance. Before reaching the entrance however you will need to climb more than 280 steps! This can be seen as a mini pilgrimage so be sure to wear the proper shoes on your visit to the basilica if you have any intention of going inside.
The architectural style used is that of Italian renaissance complete with a dome, the 'cupola' as is typically seen in the basilica's of Italy. In fact the dome is the second largest dome in the world, the first being Saint Peter's basilica in Rome. The height of the dome is 236 meters. A variety of architects were involved in the construction and design of the church. The most notable of those were Paul Bellot, Dalbé Viau, Lucien Parent, and Alphonse Venne.
The Saint Joseph's Oratory which is situated on Mount Royal is the largest church in Canada, seating 2,400 people with a maximum capacity of 10,000 people. The height of the church towers 129 metres and the length 105 metres.
Construction of the church began in 1904 by Saint Andre' Bessette, C.S.C, however, it was a small chapel at that time, nothing in comparison to the basilica which you will see as it stands today. The church was later enlarged to accommodate for the growing congregation and this is when it was turned into a basilica. With all the expansion and alterations the basilica was finally finished in 1967.
The church was featured on a 49c stamp issued by the Canadian Post in April of 2004. The stamp was designed by Catherine Bradbury and William Stewart. Their design was based on photography of the church done by Bernard Brault.
During your visit to Saint Joseph's Oratory you will not only enjoy the beautiful gardens and lawn that lead up to it, or the magificent architecture itself; for a very small fee, you can also explore the Oratory Museum which is open daily from 11am - 4:30pm and during July and August you can participate in a fully guided tour, also for a small fee. If you get hungry during your visit you can enjoy a breakfast or light lunch along with some great views at the cafeteria.
If you would like to experience a truly Roman Catholic Church service in the largest church in Canada with the atmosphere of reverence that comes with it, then this is definitely a place to visit. If you are simply a fan of renaissance architecture, you will also want to add this to your list of places to see in Montreal.
Facts For Your Visit
Open NowHours This Week:
- Monday: 6:00 AM – 9:00 PM
- Tuesday: 6:00 AM – 9:00 PM
- Wednesday: 6:00 AM – 9:00 PM
- Thursday: 6:00 AM – 9:00 PM
- Friday: 6:00 AM – 9:00 PM
- Saturday: 6:00 AM – 9:00 PM
- Sunday: 6:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Address: 3800 Chemin Queen Mary, Montréal, QC H3V 1H6, Canada
Phone: (514) 733-8211
Official Website: Oratoire St Joseph
|Metro Line||Nearest Station||Walking Time|
|Line 5 - Blue||Côte-des-Neiges||8 Minutes|
How to get to Oratoire St Joseph by Metro
By Metro: Take Metro LIne 5 to Station Côte-des-Neiges; exit to your right (south) along Côte-des-Neiges Road then go right on Queen Mary Road to the entrance.
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Ratedout of 5
Beautiful Oratory and church. I went there for mass several times and also to an organ concert. Very peaceful place to be where you can feel closer to God. Interesting modern architecture. Nice gift shop. Don't forget to visit the crypt!
Simon Laberge - 7 hours ago
It's a fairly impressive building from the outside, but rather underwhelming from the inside. It's not very big, and not very accessible. I did like the feeling and decoration in the candle room (it probably has a better name, but for the life of me can't come up with it right now!) I'm sure it carries some significance to pilgrims, and they sure made a big deal out of that - although I find it interesting that someone would make their pilgrimage to this out of all places. Overall, an interesting piece of local culture, Montréal's modern history, and impressive to look at from outside.
Antti Koskela - 13 days ago
Amazing place to visit if you are traveling to Montreal. Very relaxing and spiritual ambience. Lots of stairs (long ramp) you need to take to get to the first level and then you have the option of taking more stairs or the escalators inside the building. Amazing view of the city or Montreal from all levels. Highly recommended!
Arash Shahryari - 16 days ago
Loved this place! Came here on a Sunday and parking was free. The Oratory is up on a hill and although looks like a lot of stairs, it was easy to climb. My daughters loved it (they love buildings that look like castles). There was plenty parking and not that much people. We climbed up all the stairs and we could see almost all of Montreal! I highly recommend a visit here to really see Montreal!
Danny Otero - 18 days ago
Great place! Beautiful view to the city and a stunning Basilica. Can easily spend 2-3 hours at this place marvelling at the beauty. It is actually pretty huge and has 5 different levels. The best part is that there is no entry fee. There are quite a few stairs/long ramp but there escalators and elevators once you reach inside the first level. There is a small food shop and gift shop as well.
sukriti gupta - 1 month ago