The Notre-Dame basilica of Montreal is the first church of the Gothic Revival style in Canada. Its history, noted by the Sulpician Fathers since its foundation, is intimately tied in to the history of the City of Montreal. It bears witness to its Catholic foundations and the ever-present connections between the arts and religion. Its architectural style marked a turning point in the religious tradition and was imitated by several parishes.

A place of prayer and celebration of Catholic worship, Notre-Dame basilica has always been the site for grand events that have highlighted the imagination of the Québécois.

Raised to the rank of a minor Basilica in 1982, by Pope John Paul II, it’s religious, historical and artistic importance makes it one of the jewels of Quebec’s heritage.

Here is the main outline of the history of the Notre-Dame basilica of Montreal, in three chapters.

A lively location, a site for great events


Considered to be a place of history, Notre-Dame was designated as a place of national historic significance by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, in 1989. Since its foundation, the basilica has been the site of major religious and cultural events.