No stroll through Old Montréal would be complete without a stop at Place Jacques-Cartier, a lively spot steeped in heritage.
A meeting place for centuries, Montrealers and visitors alike gather here to admire the view of the Old Port, sit for a spell at an outdoor terrasse, take in performances of the many street artists and enjoy entertainment at every time of year. In fact, one could say that Place Jacques-Cartier is at its most magical during the Christmas season.
Today, Place Jacques-Cartier teems with artists, artisans, portrait painters and musicians, however it offers more than just entertainment: history buffs appreciate the Nelson Monument, a 35-metre column erected in 1809, as well as the black pavement denoting the outline of the Château de Vaudreuil, former 18th-century governor’s mansion in New France.
The flower stall in the middle is no coincidence: while it obviously adds to the beauty and charm of the square, it is, in fact, a nod to back to when the square was used as a public market, a vocation it held right up to the middle of the 20th century.
Continue your stroll east along Notre-Dame Street and you will come to Place De La Dauversière, across from City Hall. Today, it is a magnificent public garden where passers-by like to while away the hours, immersed in its rich history that begins with the very founding of Montréal. Named in honour of Jérôme Le Royer de La Dauversière, founder of the Société de Notre-Dame, it was the site of the Lemoine-Despins family home in 1750, then of James McGill in 1805.
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