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
Official Website: Oratoire St JosephFee: There is a small fee to visit the Oratory Museum or to participate in one of the guided tours that are available during July and August. See the offical website for more information.
Hours may be subject to change. Please verify on the official website, especially where Covid restrictions are in effect.
- Monday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Tuesday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Wednesday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Thursday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Friday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
- Saturday: 7:30 am - 8:30 pm
- Sunday: 7:00 am - 8:30 pm
Category: Churches Landmarks & Historical Buildings Religious Items
3800 Chemin Queen Mary
Montreal, QC H3V 1H6
Phone: +1 514-733-8211
Christy M H. Jan-07-2020
This place is amazingly gorgeous. The structure is huge, just being near it feels extremely peaceful. When walking in, the signs are very clear and it's... Read More
Wendy A. Jun-23-2019
This place is Gorgeous and definitely a must !!! My sister drove all the way to the top of this mountain where this basilica is located. Such an impecable... Read More
Rick B. Aug-22-2019
Been here at least a half a dozen times over the last 20 years (visits even predate YELP) but this is the first time I have reviewed. This minor basilica of... Read More
Accommodations near 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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