Oratoire St Joseph

A Mini Pilgrimage to the Oratoire St Joseph du Mont-Royal

Saint Joseph's Oratory
Saint Joseph's Oratory cc licensed photo by Olivier Bruchez

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

Fee: No

Open Now

Hours 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 - BlueCôte-des-Neiges8 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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Rated 4.7 out of 5Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal Star Rating

5 Star Rating Absolutely gorgeous. I've never been to a place of worship this big. The carvings and the architecture are absolutely amazing. This place is so big yet so quiet. Absolutely breath taking.

Naturally Aspir8ed - 12 days ago

5 Star Rating If you love sunset and a great view of Montreal, you need to visit this location. In the morning is a good time to go. Lots of tourists from all over the world visit too. This building is impressive because of his monumental size. You can visit with your family and friends.

Rick Burgos - 16 days ago

5 Star Rating Friendly, enthusiastic people. Very welcoming. A refreshing environment with beautiful music. I loved the tour of the church and hearing about it's amazing history. Not only does it bring back special memories, but we meet interesting people and leave both grounded and rejuvenated. !

Dr Jacqueline Quyen Thu Ha Le Pham - 1 month ago

5 Star Rating Anybody visiting Montreal must stop by and take a walk around St.Joseph's Oratory. The gardens and walkway leading to the stairs is simply beautiful. Climbing the stairs is not for everyone, but take your time and make the effort. Just remember the center stairs are only for those who are saying prayers while climbing each step on their knees. Once at the top continue into the Oratory to marvel at the interior of this magnificent church. The view from the top is also extraordinary. There are always many tourists here, so visit early in the day to have a more pleasurable experience.

nim nim - 1 month ago

5 Star Rating Located at the highest point of Montreal, the cathedral is breathtaking. For those afraid of heights, prepare to hold on tight to the railings! If you're planning to light a candle in the chapel, remember to bring a few bucks to help the church refilled them. We put in $10 for every candle we lit. A small donation that we believe is fair to help the church with the upkeep. Great place to visit. The church dome is massive! Very impressive. We can't wait to go back on our next visit and explore the park behind the church and have a panoramic view of the city.

C N - 2 months ago


A quick overview of St. Joseph Oratory

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