St. James United Church – Downtown Montréal
Okay before anyone freaks out and thinks we already have tons of snow, these shots are from my archives from last winter 😀
Yes, some of the ski hills an hour+ drive north of the city are open, but it will be at least a few more weeks (hopefully) before we get any significant dumpings of the white stuff in town.
Located in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles in downtown Montréal, St. James United Church was built between 1887 and 1889.
The oddest fact about this building is that in 1926 due to a need to raise funds the congregation leased the land in the square between the street and the entrance, allowing for commercial buildings to go up in front of the church.
These buildings which contained shops and restaurants with storefronts right on Ste-Catherine Street completely obscured the beautiful facade of St. James for almost eighty years.
For all of my life until 2006, the entrance to St. James from Ste-Catherine St. was only accessible via a corridor within the buildings in front of it.
And this one entrance was identified by a garish neon sign above its door.
For almost 8 decades most Montréalers could see the dual towers but had no idea that such a beautiful building was standing right in front of them, on one of the busiest shopping streets in all of Canada.
Finally in 2006 with the help of funding from the municipal and provincial governments the commercial buildings were torn down exposing the wonderful facade that could now be seen and admired from the street again.
Today having been designated both a Federal and Provincial heritage status building, St. James United has been fully restored to its former glory.
It is a breathtaking sight in a bustling section of downtown.
In fact it kind of sneaks up on unsuspecting pedestrians from its hiding place between the shops and businesses along this part of Ste-Catherine St.
It’s no surprise that when coming across it for the first time many busy shoppers and visitors are compelled to stop and admire.
If you ever visit downtown Montréal you’ll find St. James United squeezed in among the stores and other businesses at 463 Ste-Catherine St. West.
As always, thanks for visiting 🙂
Want to join in on the fun and share your own Thursday Doors post with other door lovers? Click on the blue button below to add the link to your Thursday Doors post to our link-up list.
Don’t forget that if you share your blog posts on Twitter and Instagram, use the #ThursdayDoors hashtag to help others find you, and please do take a few minutes to visit some of the Thursday Door posts shared by others.