Project 365 – Day 54: Mount-Royal/Notre Dames des Neiges Cemeteries and the Mount Royal Cross

Feb 23 2012

I had no specific goal on what to shoot today and spent some time wandering up boulevard Saint-Laurent and heading west on avenue Fairmount. Upon reaching boulevard Mont-Royal, I decided to head into the forest that runs alongside the road and found it led me to the Mount-Royal Cemetery. This was the first time I’ve been in the area, so continued to wander about looking for something interesting to shoot.

Just up the hill, I discovered the Molson family tomb.

Molson family tomb in Mount Royal Cemetery

Molson family tomb in Mount Royal Cemetery

John Molson emigrated to Canada from England in 1782. The Molson family became famous for building Canada’s largest brewery which continues to this day. Other claims to fame of John Molson include; building the first theatre in Montreal, built Canada’s first steamship, his Mansion House Hotel contained Montreal’s first library, was a co-founder of the Bank of Montreal, and built Canada’s first railway. He was the Richard Branson of his time.

Entrance to the Molson family tomb

Entrance to the Molson family tomb

Before moving on, here are a few other shots taken in Mount Royal Cemetery:

Reflections on grave stones - Mount Royal Cemetery

Reflections on grave stones - Mount Royal Cemetery

Resting beneath a tree - Mount Royal Cemetery

Resting beneath a tree - Mount Royal Cemetery

Bench with a view in memory of Mordecai Richler - Mount Royal Cemetery

Bench with a view in memory of Mordecai Richler - Mount Royal Cemetery

View of Montreal Olympic Stadium from Mount Royal Cemetery

View of Montreal Olympic Stadium from Mount Royal Cemetery

Adjacent to the Mount Royal Cemetery is Canada’s largest cemetery (3rd largest in North America) – the Notre-Dames-Des-Neiges Cemetery. The cemetery is certainly big, covering 343 acres and together with Mount Royal contains about 1.5million burials.

La Fabrique de la paroisse Notre-Dame de Montréal (the building council of Montreal’s Notre-Dame parish) has owned and operated Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery since 1854. Created on property purchased from Dr. Pierre Beaubien, the new cemetery was a response to growing demand at a time when the old Saint-Antoine Cemetery (near the present Dominion Square) had become too small to serve Montreal’s rapidly increasing population.

Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery

Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery

Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery

Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery

Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery

Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery

I could easily spend a whole day (or more) shooting in these beautiful cemetery’s and will certainly be making repeat visits in the future.

I exited the cemetery opposite Maison Smith and walked up to the Mount Royal Cross at the summit of Parc du Mont-Royal.

The first Mount Royal Cross was placed there in 1643 by Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve, the founder of the city.

An illuminated steel cross was installed in 1924 by the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste, and is now owned by the city. The current cross stands 31.4 m (103 ft) tall. It was converted to fibre-optic light in 1992, allowing the cross to be lit in red, blue or purple. I plan to get some close-up night shots soon.

Mount Royal Cross

Mount Royal Cross

Mount Royal Cross

Mount Royal Cross

Close to the cross is a communication tower – not exactly a famous landmark, but thought it would be a good candidate for an HDR shot.

Communication tower on Mont Royal

Communication tower on Mont Royal

I took the escarpment route back home to grab a few shots of the Montreal skyline. Not recommended for those with vertigo – I had the odd moment of panic given it was a bit icy next to the edge, with a long drop to the bottom of the cliff face – but the views were worth it!

View of the Montreal Skyline from the Escarpment path on Mont Royal

View of the Montreal Skyline from the Escarpment path on Mont Royal

View of the Montreal Skyline from the Escarpment path on Mont Royal

View of the Montreal Skyline from the Escarpment path on Mont Royal

Eastern View of Montreal from the Escarpment path on Mont Royal

Eastern View of Montreal from the Escarpment path on Mont Royal

One final image I would like to share today was taken on chemin de la Côte Sainte Catherine. I love the design, particularly the tower. Montreal really has some amazing and diverse styles of architecture.

House on chemin de la Sainte Catherine

House on chemin de la Sainte Catherine

To view images in gallery format, simply click on one of the images below.

Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.

– Martin

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