Now let’s walk along the Union side of the Cathedral (opposite La Baie)

The first thing you’ll see on your left is a small red door, which is now permanently closed. It was the door used by the Prince of Wales when he visited the cathedral in 1859. He was in Montreal for the opening of the Victoria Bridge.

Behind this door is our children's chapel.


In the grounds you will see the Fulford Memorial. It looks so much like the top of a spire people have been known to say that it was a piece of the old spire taken down in 1927.

However, this structure commemorates Bishop Francis Fulford who died in 1868. He was the first bishop of the Diocese of Montreal – and the last Canadian Bishop to be appointed by the British Crown. The letters patent creating the new Diocese and appointing Fulford also changed the status of Montreal from Town to City, an honorific title conferred by the British monarch.

Looking to your left you will see an octagonal building attached by a passage to the cathedral.

This is the Chapter House, originally the meeting place for the Dean, the Bishop and the Cathedral leadership, and now the Dean’s office.

The Spire

As we said earlier, the original, very heavy, stone spire was removed in 1927 and for thirteen years all that remained was a stumpy looking tower. In 1940 a generous benefactor paid to have the spire rebuilt.



In a clever piece of engineering, a structure of steel was covered with aluminium tiles, treated to look like stone. Unfortunately, once again the spire has suffered from a good idea which went bad. The aluminium has caused the underlying steel to rust, so once again the spire must come down and be restored in order to be safe.


The cost is enormous. Originally estimated at $8 million it has escalated to over $11 million. Work started in 2018 and is continuing at a steady pace in spite of delays and difficulties.