Parks Canada

Parks Canada

May 14, 2006 14:00 ET

The Government of Canada Recognizes the National Historic and Architectural Significance of the Marie-Reine-du-Monde Basilica-Cathedral

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - May 14, 2006) - The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced today the unveiling of a plaque from the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada to commemorate the national historical and architectural significance of the Marie-Reine-du-Monde Basilica-Cathedral.

"The basilica-cathedral embodies the dream of a man, His Lordship Ignace Buorget, who played a significant role in 19th century Quebec history. The Canadian Government recognizes the importance of preserving this highly symbolic place of worship and its remarkable architecture," said Minister Rona Ambrose.

This cathedral is a testament to the ultramontanism espoused by Ignace Bourget, second bishop of Montreal. Eager to express his deep commitment to the papacy, he decided that his cathedral would be based on the model of St. Peter's in Rome. Built between 1870 and 1894, according to plans by the architect Victor Bourgeau and Rev. Joseph Michaud, it reflects its famous model with its facade, dome and interior decoration. It proudly asserted the presence of the Catholic Church in an area where stood railway terminals.

"The Government of Canada is proud to have contributed to the cathedral development project with almost a million dollars, including half a million from Parks Canada. The grant money went towards renovating architectural and decorative features," added Minister Ambrose.

Founded in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises the Minister of the Environment on the national historic significance of sites, people and events that changed Canadian history. Their historical value is officially recognized by erecting commemorative plaques.

(Also available on the Internet at under What's new.)

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of the Environment
    Ryan Sparrow
    Associate Director and Press Secretary
    (819) 997-1441
    Parks Canada
    Odette Lachance
    Communications Advisor
    (418) 648-4167