When you’re a Canadian living in a relatively new city such as Vancouver, there’s appreciation to be had for visiting older locales. I’ve yet to visit two of our oldest cities, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Quebec City, Quebec, but have explored a bit of Montreal. A village known to locals as Hocelaga when Jacques Cartier explored the area in 1535, change was afoot seven years later, with the arrival of Europeans settling in to this newer land. Blink, and a century later, in 1642, the city was formally established as Ville Marie.
A stay in Old Montreal logically leads one to Notre-Dame Basilica, which fronts Place d’Armes. Coming from the old quarter’s primarily light stone buildings, my eyes landed on the lovely red building this clock tower caps. The New York Life Building, otherwise known as the Quebec Bank Building, is crafted of red sandstone imported from Dumfriesshire, Scotland. Completed in 1889 at a cost of $750,000, this represented the city’s highest commercial building – aided in no small part from the clock tower, which added another three stories to the structure – and housed the city’s first elevator.