L'archevêque de Montréal, Son Excellence Mgr Christian Lépine, soulignera le 150e anniversaire de la plus Québécoise des paroisses de Montréal par une messe solennelle le 24 juin à 10 heures.

His Excellency, Archbishop Christian Lépine, will mark the 150th anniversary of Montreal’s most quintessentially Québécois parish with a solemn mass on June 24 at 10 a.m.

One hundred and fifty years ago, on June 28, 1874, the bell of Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church rang for the first time in the heart of the newly established village of the same name, now known as the Plateau-Mont-Royal.

At that time, large agricultural estates covered what is now Plateau Mont-Royal. The Hôtel-Dieu hospital already existed, but it was situated in a rural area. Farmers were shifting from wheat to more lucrative crops such as fruits and potatoes. The extraction of limestone and the presence of tanneries led to small settlements outside the city, with populations following the quarry veins. A village emerged at the corner of Sanguinet Street (now Henri-Julien) and Tanneries Street (now Mont-Royal Avenue). Duluth Street was then called Saint-Jean-Baptiste Street, marking the village’s beginning.

Since then, three churches have stood on this site. Under their steeples: twelve parish priests, three fires, three pandemics, two world wars, the Great Depression, and countless baptisms, weddings, and funerals. Under their steeples: innumerable souls building a village that would become a metropolis.

The first church, inaugurated in 1874, was destroyed by fire in 1898. The second lasted only eight years before it too was destroyed by fire in 1911—this time struck by lightning just three days after the inauguration of its grand organ. Each time, the village rebuilt its church.

The current Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church is the third largest in Montreal. Its exterior is neoclassical in style, while the grand interior is an eclectic mix of baroque elements. The church houses three organs from the renowned Casavant Frères, including a majestic colossus with 2,500 pipes, one of the most powerful in North America.

Due to its historical and heritage significance, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church hosted the 400th anniversary celebration of the first mass in Montreal in 2015. Its exceptional acoustics have attracted high-profile performances, including symphony concerts, Coeur de Pirate, the 30th anniversary of Cirque du Soleil, Rufus Wainwright, and the Chanteurs du Mont-Royal.

On June 24, 2024, at 10 a.m., His Excellency Archbishop Lépine will commemorate the 150th anniversary of this parish during the grand Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day mass. The church is located at 309 Rachel East Street. All are welcome.

For historical accounts of the 150-year history of "the most Québécois of parishes" on the island, please refer to the following link:


Rodrigo Escayola
Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church

*(English translation in-house)