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Montreal's 15 Most Iconic Landmarks

A ranking of the city's famous buildings, places, and foods.
Montreal's 15 Most Iconic Landmarks

What do you see when you think 'Montreal?' Montreal has many famous peoples, structures, and landmarks which have become synonymous with the city, but a few stand above the rest. Certain symbols simply say 'Montreal,' sometimes better than the name of the city itself.

Metro, in an effort to rank the most iconic Montreal symbols, polled a mish-mash of city workers and professionals, each of whom ranked their top three. The top 5 were listed in the original article, but we've expanded the results into the 15 of Montreal's most iconic symbols. Did yours make the cut?

Click here for Montreal's 15 Most Iconic Symbols >

Mount Royal

Date of Inauguration: God only knows, first scaled by Jaques Cartier in 1535

Why: The giant cross, the beauty of nature, Tam Tams, and the fork-like telephone pole used by the deity of Pastafarianism to eat itself and sustain the world are only a few of the reasons why Mount Royal deserves the top spot.


Date of Inauguration: Up for debate, but most likely in the early-mid 1800s

Why: For some reason, Montreal has magnificent outdoor staircases, unlike anywhere in else in the nation. I think of it as a metaphorical 'zero fucks given' to the ice and cold brought on by winter. Go ahead, be all icey, we'll still go outside, hell, let's put our staircases outside!

The Jacques-Cartier Bridge and the St. Lawrence River

Date of Inauguration: May 14, 1930

Why: Combined, these two landmarks are essential to Montreal's past and present. The St. Lawrence River was the primary means of transportation and trade in Montreal's infancy, and today, the Jaques-Cartier Bridge is used by hundreds of commuters to get onto the beautiful island of Montreal.

The Montreal Canadiens

Date of Inauguration: December 4th, 1909

Why: Everyone knows Montreal loves its hockey team the Canadiens, and anyone who says otherwise will get punched in the face. For that reason, and the fact that the city literally riots in celebration when the Canadiens make major wins.

The Olympic Stadium

Date of Inauguration: July 17, 1976

Why: The Big O stands as a monument to a major moment of Montreal history, when the city hosted the Olympics in '76, and still remains ever-present in the city's culture. Plus, you can see it from nearly every locale in the city.


Date of Inauguration: Disputed, but definitely by 1919 (opening of Fairmount Bagels)

Why: From breakfast to drunchies at 4am, Montrealers go nuts for their special bagels, made here unlike anywhere else in the world. Montreal bagels are one of the city's major claims to food fame.

The Biosphere

Date of Inauguration: 1967

Why: A standing commemoration of the World Fair Expo 67, which the Biosphere was originally built for, and a mainstay of educational fun in Montreal. You've probably been with your school, parents, and friends a bunch of times, and you still keep going back. That's love.

Quartier des Spectacles

Date of Inauguration: Summer 2009

Why: Montreal is known for its many festivals (Jazz, JFL, Francofolie, etc.) and Quartier des Spectacles is where all the festival-magic happens. Only around for a few years, in its new incarnation, the area is still very well known to native Montrealers and tourists alike.

Orange Julep

Date of Inauguration: 1932

Why: Large, orange, and in charge, Orange Julep is synonymous to snacking in Montreal.

Place Ville Marie

Date of Inauguration: 1960

Why: One of the most recognizable buildings in Montreal, this epic construction serves as a going away and coming to point for so many Montrealers, houses over 1600 businesses, and is a major connecting point of the underground city.

Habitat 67

Date of Inauguration: 1967

Why: Stairs aren't the only symbol of Montreal's architecture. Habitat 67, built for Expo 67, stands as a monument to the unique architectural nature of our fair city.


Date of Inauguration: Disputed, sometime in the 1950s

Why: Like poutine wouldn't make the list. Montreal's signature dish is an integral part of the city's culture, and demands everyone's love and respect.


Date of Inauguration: May 2009

Why: The original Bixi system, this fairly new initiative stands is a testament to Montreal's biking culture.

Farine Five Roses

Date of Inauguration: 1946

Why: Even if you don't bake, you sure as hell know the Farine Five Roses building, one of the city's most iconic structures.

Old Montreal

Date of Inauguration: Hella old, but the buildings of today were mostly built in the early 1800s

Why: Walking around Old Montreal is like taking a step back into Montreal's history. The fusion of the very old and modern make it a district that embodies the vibe of the city.

What's your favourite landmark?

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