Type choices :
Strictly necessary cookies

These cookies are essential to provide you with services available through our website and to enable you to use certain features of our website. Without these cookies, we cannot provide you certain services on our website.

Functionality cookies

These cookies are used to provide you with a more personalized experience on our website and to remember choices you make when you use our website. For example, we may use functionality cookies to remember your language preferences or remember your login details.

Tracking cookies

These cookies are used to collect information to analyze the traffic to our website and how visitors are using our website. For example, these cookies may track things such as how long you spend on the website or the pages you visit which helps us to understand how we can improve our website site for you. The information collected through these tracking and performance cookies do not identify any individual visitor.

Targeting cookies

These cookies are used to show advertising that is likely to be of interest to you based on your browsing habits. These cookies, as served by our content and/or advertising providers, may combine information they collected from our website with other information they have independently collected relating to your web browser's activities across their network of websites. If you choose to remove or disable these targeting or advertising cookies, you will still see adverts but they may not be relevant to you.

The Great Casavant Organs


Inaugurated in 1891

Inaugurated in 1891, it now has 7,000 pipes with the longest one stretching over 32 feet (9.75 m) and the smallest one at a quarter-inch long (6.35 mm). It contains 92 stops on 4 manual keyboards of 61 notes and a pedalboard of 32 notes.

Image credit : Alain Régimbald

Pierre Grandmaison, titular organist

Since 1973, Pierre Grandmaison has been the titular organist of Notre-Dame Basilica. Born in Montréal, he studied piano at the École de musique Vincent-d’Indy in Outremont while working on the organ with Eugène Lapierre and Françoise Aubut. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree from Université de Montréal in 1970.

He has a busy schedule at the Basilica, as he performs for some 400 celebrations each year: weddings, funerals, Masses and more. He also loves to share his passion for the organ by welcoming the Basilica’s many visitors with the Take a Seat at the Organ activity. The activity is available to the general public every Friday during the summer.

Visitors of the Basilica can also listen to more musical interpretations played by Mr. Grandmaison on the Casavant Organ from Wednesday to Friday, beginning at 1:30 p.m. The music reverberates throughout the nave for approximately 50 minutes. All you have to do is buy a sightseeing ticket to enjoy it.

Notre-Dame de Montréal’s organ is the greatest instrument in North America and is matched only by Notre-Dame de Paris.

- Alexandre Guilmant
famous French organist and composer who came to play the organ at Notre-Dame in 1896

A Few Years Earlier, in 1885...

The contract to build Notre-Dame’s organ was signed a few years earlier in 1885. La Fabrique de la paroisse Notre-Dame de Montréal chose Casavant Frères, a new firm founded five years earlier, to carry out this ambitious project. In fact, the pastor wanted a four-manual organ that would become the largest in North America. The Casavant firm then sent one of the Casavant brothers to Europe to meet with some of the most renowned organ builders. It was in France that Casavant met Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, who restored the great organs of Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Church of Saint-Sulpice in Paris. This meeting was important for the design of Notre-Dame de Montréal’s organ, which is part of the French symphonic tradition of the 19th century.