Henry Poon's Blog

Montreal: Saint Joseph’s Oratory, Old Montreal and the Underground City

During the American Thanksgiving week, I visited some family out in Montreal. I spent most of my time with family, so I didn’t do as much touring around as I had liked to. Besides, this wasn’t my first time in Montreal (here and here).

For one reason or another, I never made it out to Saint Joseph’s Oratory the other times I visited. According to my cousin, “it’s one of the best free attractions in Montreal”.

Saint Joseph’s Oratory is Canada’s largest church, and it enshrines a statue of Saint Joseph within it, I wasn’t able to take a good photo myself of the the oratory in all its beauty, so here’s one from Wikipedia.

By Paolo Costa Baldi – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17469968

We weren’t allowed to go inside the main nave (where the people sit in church) of the basilica since it was closed for an event. But we were able to go to the Crypt Church on the floor below.

The statue of Saint Joseph is located in the Votive Chapel. People all over come here as a pilgrimage to pay their respects.

Since Saint Joseph’s Oratory is located on Mont Royal, there is a viewpoint nearby to look into the city.

Someone had some fun at the nearby chalet!

A short hike from there was the Mount Royal Cross. The temperature was only slightly below freezing, so it wasn’t as cold as I expected Montreal to be. I was told that it’d get much much colder in January and February.

The next place we went to was Old Montreal. It was pretty dead, even for a Sunday afternoon. It makes sense since I’m way past the busy tourist season! In the summer, all the restaurants set up patio seating outside, but it was too cold to do any of that in November.

Lastly, I went to the Underground City. Like a lot of cities that get really cold, the city has built a network of underground tunnels so that people can avoid walking outside in the cold winter. Some parts of it are actually really nice!

A piece of the Berlin wall appears in the most unlikely of places..

One of the places I wanted to go on this trip was the Biodome, which tries to recreate different ecosystems in the world to display various plants and animals that live there. Unfortunately, it doesn’t reopen until summer 2019.

Photo album: here

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