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“Must See - It Should Be The No. 1 Attraction”

Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal
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US$3.82*
and up
Museum of Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal
Ranked #9 of 376 things to do in Montreal
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount-Royal, founded by Saint Brother André in 1904, is a catholic sanctuary and the largest shrine dedicated to Saint Joseph in the world. We welcome everyone to partake in panoramic views, music concerts and special religious celebrations; come discover natural, cultural and spiritual treasures in the heart of the city. You will marvel at the votive chapel containing 10,000 candles, the Oratory Museum featuring nativity scenes from around the world, the Original Chapel, the spectacular Garden of the Way of Cross, the Crypt Church and the largest domed Basilica in North America.
Reviewed 25 July 2009

Saint Joseph's Oratory is a must see. I think it should be the number 1 attraction in Montreal. I will certainly recommend it to everyone visiting Montreal. There is no admission fee; you only need to make donations as you like. It is open from 6 am to 9:30 pm. It's built on a hill top. Just a look at it from the opposite road will deeply impress you. The Oratory provides a free shuttle bus to go up hill until 9pm. Remember to buy a visitor guide for $2 at the main entrance and follow the instructions to visit the interior & the outer garden of Oratory. Once entered the Oratory, there are thousands of candles lighted up. I gave it a "Wow" there. You must also take the lift to 6/F to see the new Church (another "Wow" there) and the magnificent view of Montreal (even more "Wow"s there!!). The view on the 4/F platform cannot compare with it.

4  Thank Siumee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"brother andre"
in 181 reviews
"votive chapel"
in 44 reviews
"holy place"
in 31 reviews
"climb the stairs"
in 33 reviews
"main church"
in 36 reviews
"mount royal"
in 107 reviews
"gift shop"
in 71 reviews
"light a candle"
in 34 reviews
"great view of the city"
in 32 reviews
"worth the trip"
in 39 reviews
"awe inspiring"
in 35 reviews
"visiting montreal"
in 64 reviews
"notre dame"
in 66 reviews
"beautiful architecture"
in 34 reviews
"escalator"
in 305 reviews
"crutches"
in 144 reviews
"pilgrims"
in 99 reviews
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3,062 - 3,066 of 4,801 reviews

Reviewed 4 March 2009

We visited St Joseph oratory in February on a snowy day, so we had to skip the gardens. The exterior is grand and imposing, well worth seeing. The interior is more modern and unexpected, but worth a quick visit; the votive candle chapel is ultra-modern, but pretty in its own way, and the “crypt” was full of atmosphere. On the upper level was a museum with nativities of different countries and on the top level is the modern basilica.
Fabulous location, affords great views.

2  Thank crispypina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 January 2009

This is an impressively large church and even includes escalators to go from the lower levels to the main portion. The Italian Renaissance exterior with its huge dome is magnifcent and the view of the University of Montreal is especially nice (go to Mont Royal proper for a view of downtown).

The Oratory contains a museum of religious art which apparently has changing exhibits. On my visit they has a wonderful display of creches from all over the world that was very impressive.

I wish I could say I was as impressed by the interior but I was not. The style inside does not match the outside - it's a kind of modified art deco / art moderne cum renaissance. Large in scope but missing the rich decoration of so many other famous Catholic basilicas and cathedrals.

Still, a major attraction and probably a must on a tour of Montreal.

1  Thank JohnTheBear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2008

We visited St. Joseph's Oratory on a hop-on/hop-off tour of Montreal. Our tour guide told us that the inside of the basillica wasn't very interesting, but we decided not to take her word for it and hopped-off anyway. Boy are we glad we did! She was dead wrong about the inside not being very interesting. The church itself doesn't have many adorments like Notre Dame cathedral, but there is so much history and beautiful backstory to the whole building. We saw the votive candle chapel, where hundreds of canes and crutches have been left be patrons claiming to have been healed of their disability by coming to St. Josephs. We also saw the museum of wax sculptures/nativity scenes from all over the world and the stations of the cross in the reflection garden outside, and that was quite impressive! All in all, it was definitely worth the hour or two that we spent there, and we learned a valuable lesson: don't just sit on the bus and take your tour guide's word on everything!

3  Thank Sara C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 August 2007

St. Joseph's Oratory Accomodation

We had a family re-union in Montreal on the long weekend in August and booked the oratory accomodation for three families. The person managing the accomodation was terrible. He had to remove our shoes while going up the stairs to our room, the children were not allowed to speak in the hallway. One the children fell ill and as breakfast is included, we tried to take some food for the child to have with medication but the manager did not allow us to take food down. The food was only available if the child came to the dining room and we wanted to avoid that as there were many people from outside travelling and living there and did not want to tranfer any illness to the rest of the people in the dining room.

Either the manager did not like children or he did not like Asians. He was very friendly with the visiting nuns and allowed them to take food to their rooms. We were not allowed to speak in the hallway and were constantly sushed and made to feel very unwelcome. Our childen were not noisy and we had advised the children about the 10:00 pm quiet time set by the oratory's accomodation guidelines.

Our family reunion was spoilt by this manager though the other staff were very accomodating and apologized for his behaviour. On the day that we were supposed to leave, we requested the front staff for lunch room facility so that the children can eat the leftover pizza before our journey back to Toronto and the manager was angry at the staff and waited just outside the lunch room to intimate us that he wants us to leave the room.

We booked the oratory accomodation as we had lived there before when it was managed by nuns and had a pleasant experience. We recommended the oratory accomodation to our family members and with change in management, it was a terrible experience and would like to warn anyone with children to avoid the place. As a catholic place of worship, we found it hard to believe that people at such holy sites could be so discriminatory to their guests.

5  Thank JanetOntario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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