The Clock Tower: A Mythical Landmark
April 20, 2017 / Posted by Heritage Montreal - Collaborator
Every year, as spring shifts into summer, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) celebrates its International Day for Monuments and Sites. This special day is organized on April 18 by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), offering citizens of the world a radiant opportunity to celebrate the legacy of our cultural heritage. For 2017, they chose the Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Tourism theme, which coincides brilliantly with Montréal’s 375th anniversary, as the city will undoubtedly play host to a great number of tourists in the months to come.
As a complement to this theme, we chose to shine a light on a major touristic attraction of Old Montreal: the Clock Tower. For almost century now, visitors coming down the Saint Lawrence have found solace in being welcomed by one of Montréal most iconic landmarks. Its rich history is bound to enthrall you!
A little bit of history: The Old Port of Montréal Corporation was created in 1830 and was known as the Montréal Harbour Commission at the time. Today, its mission to further promote tourism in Old Montreal is emblematic of the fundamental changes the district has gone through in the last decades. Its 45-meter height makes it one of Old Montreal’s most noticeable structures. The Tower is actually a commemorative monument, built between 1919 and 1922 by Montréal engineer Paul Leclaire to honour the sailors of the merchant navy who lost their lives in the First World War. Originally, the Tower was meant to bear a four-ton bell atop its pinnacle, which would have been able to produce quite the welcome call for sailors!
Did you know that the Tower is open to the public? If you haven’t yet had the chance to visit it, you’ll only to engage in a brisk walk up its 192 steps to marvel at the clock, a replica of London’s Big Ben clock tower, and at one of the loveliest views of the city you can find!
And you? What is your favorite icon of Old Montreal?
Photo credits : Karl Gendron