Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal is a Roman Catholic basilica and a national shrine based on Mont Royal’s Westmount Summit. The construction of the chapel started in 1904, continued in 1924 with the basilica and completed in 1967. This is the largest shrine in the world dedicated to Saint Joseph who was credited with healing power. Many ill, handicapped and pilgrims pour into this Basilica. The basilica is built from Canadian granite and copper. This Montreal landmark is truly worth seeing. Take your visitors from out of town to visit this place and admire the architecture of this basilica and the wonderful views from its terrace.
Address: Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal, 3800 Queen Mary Road, Montreal, H3V 1H6, QC
Public Transport: nearest Metro is Côte-des-Neiges (blue line). Bus lines: 51, 166, 435 and 711.
Car: 17 minutes from downtown Montreal
Entry Fee: Free
Parking: $5 per vehicle, you will climb with the car up the hill to reach level 5 of the oratory which is also the main vehicle parking. Level 5 is the main entrance with the info desk, cafeteria and shop.
Gift shop: Yes
Visiting hours: not clear but Google is mentioning 6am-9pm.
Guided tours available from early June to the first week of September, 90 minutes – 13:30 and 15:00, $5 per person (English or French).
The Oratory Museum ($4 per person) is dedicated to sacred art. The permanent exhibition is about a collection of creches from around the world. The current temporary exhibition is about “Discovering Montreal religious heritage”. The museum is open daily from 10am to 16:30.
Suitable for a baby stroller (if you arrive by car). The street’s entrance can be challenging with the many steps leading up to the oratory.
The oratory is huge. There are lots of parts to visit and explore (depending on your kids’ patience 🙂 ). My visit was relatively quick, I had a family visit back in October and I wanted to show them the wonderful views from the terrace. We spent at the oratory about an hour, visiting the basilica (level 6), the terrace and The Gardens of the way of the Cross. We did not visit the museum, nor the original chapel (located outside the main building).
Here is a quick map with indications per level.
The inspiring basilica:
The view from the terrace facing west:
We enjoyed very much the visit to The Garden of the way of the Cross (Jardin du Chemin de la Croix). The garden’s high maintenance is great and it was nice to walk along the path (partly uphill) watching all the statues along the way. The garden is worth a visit.
The oratory is hosting many religious events and cultural concerts. Check their website with the monthly calendar for more info.