An elegant seat of local government, Montreal’s City Hall is worth seeing both as an icon of architecture and history. Also known as the city’s Hôtel de Ville, Francophiles may easily spot the French undertones present in its style. Now a National Historic Site of Canada, it is considered one of the greatest examples of Second Empire architecture and a structure not to be missed when in Montreal.
Like many historic buildings, the City Hall has undergone much destruction and reconstruction over the years. With its current and giant clock face as well as intricate balconies, the exterior is impressive. Its interior is laden with marble and bronze, with the most significant room being the Hall of Honour featuring portraits of every Montreal mayor.
France’s influence is apparent throughout — in fact, Charles de Gaulle even gave an impassioned speech about Quebec from one of the balconies. A stop at the building is often included on city tours of Old Montreal.
City Hall is located in Old Montreal between Place Jacques-Cartier and the Champ de Mars. The closest Metro station is the Orange Line’s Champ-de-Mars. One hour tours of City Hall take place several times a week from May to October.