Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal is located at the intersection of Notre-Dame Street West and Saint-Sulpice Street in the borough of Ville-Marie in Montréal. This jewel of Québec’s religious heritage was built by the Sulpicians over the years 1824 to 1829, to serve as a parish church. It is one of the oldest examples of Gothic Revival religious architecture in Canada. At the time it was built, it was a daring, innovative edifice on a scale unequalled anywhere else in North America. The architect was James O’Donnell, an Irish immigrant to New York City. Its interior decor, which was overseen by Victor Bourgeau, along with its rich ornamentation, are unique and evoke a true sense of wonder in visitors. The Basilica is also one of the major tourist attractions in the city of Montréal.
The interior explains the unfamiliar shape; the entrance wall spirals inward past a circular baptistery to shield a broad, shadowed sanctuary under the downward billowing concrete vault. Two concrete cylinders descend from the vault to shed natural light on the altar and tabernacle areas.
Visible from everywhere in St. John's, Newfoundland, and, so important in the 19th century, the most striking building as one entered the harbour, the Basilica of St. John the Baptist was built to assert the place and power of Newfoundland's Irish Catholic population.