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Jacques-Cartier Square (Place Jacques-Cartier)
Jacques-Cartier Square (Place Jacques-Cartier)

Jacques-Cartier Square (Place Jacques-Cartier)

Place Jacques Cartier, between rue Notre Dame and rue St Paul, Vieux Montreal, Montreal

The Basics

Few places evoke the historic, European-influenced flavor of Old Montreal quite like Jacques-Cartier Square. Myriad walking tours of Old Montreal, both private and group tours, stop at the square, as well as other nearby attractions including Notre-Dame Basilica, St. Paul Street (Rue Saint-Paul), and the waterfront Old Port (Vieux-Port). Tours by coach introduce visitors to the square, as well as highlighting other Montreal sights, such as Montreal Chinatown, Mount Royal (Mont-Royal), and the Olympic Stadium.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Jacques-Cartier Square is a good spot for a coffee, glass of wine, or lunch, with several open-air cafes and restaurants situated around its perimeter.

  • The square is pedestrianized, meaning you can wander without worrying about traffic.

  • Jacques-Cartier Square is mostly wheelchair accessible, although the inclined surface may pose problems to manual wheelchair users.

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How to Get There

Jacques-Cartier Square is situated in Old Montreal, stretching for two blocks from Montreal City Hall down to the waterfront. The nearest metro station is Champ-de-Mars (Orange Line), which is about five minutes away on foot.

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Trip ideas

A Spooky City Guide to Montreal

A Spooky City Guide to Montreal

Quebec City Day Trips From Montreal

Quebec City Day Trips From Montreal

Haunted Montreal

Haunted Montreal


When to Get There

Jacques-Cartier Square is at its best in summer when restaurants and cafes around the square open up their outdoor terraces, and musicians and street performers come hoping to earn their keep. The square is also atmospheric during the Christmas season, with festive lights strung on the surrounding trees and snow often on the ground.

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The Nelson Monument

Towering over the top of Jacques-Cartier Square is Nelson’s Column monument, which was erected in 1809. Unusual for this Francophone city, the monument pays homage to a British rather than a French hero: Admiral Horatio Nelson. Admiral Nelson was killed during the Battle of Trafalgar, in which the English were victorious over French and Spanish forces.

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