The Grand Trunk Building viewed from Place d'Youville
|Location||Old Montreal, Ville-Marie Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Operated by||City of Montreal|
|Status||Open all year|
It was near to this spot, previously crossed by the Saint-Pierre river, that the first European inhabitants of Montreal arrived in 1642. Soon after, this frequently flooded area was abandoned in favour of the hill overlooking rue Notre-Dame.
For many years, the land around the present-day square was owned by the Old Montreal General Hospital. That hospital for the poor, built between 1692 et 1694, was run at first by the Charon Brothers then, from 1747, by the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of Montreal, or Grey Nuns, founded by Marguerite d'Youville.
Proximity to the port gave the area a new lease of life. In 1833, the marché Sainte-Anne was built to accommodate the fruit and vegetable sellers.
Parliament Buildings 1844-1849
The building was so attractive that the Parliament of the Province of Canada moved into it in 1844, where the representatives of Upper and Lower Canada sat (present-day south Ontario and Quebec). It was burned down on April 25, 1849. English-speaking demonstrators drove the representatives out and set fire to the building because they opposed the Rebellion Losses Bill, pardoning those who had been involved in the Lower Canada Rebellion. Montreal thus lost its status as capital city.
After being rebuilt, the building was once again a public marketplace. A fish market was later added.
In 1871, the Grey Nuns left for a new home on the René Lévesque Boulevard, then in the countryside. The opening up of the rue Saint-Pierre towards the port involved the demolition of their former chapel. Only the walls and the remains of old windows are left. Other buildings had the same fate in order to create space for the rue Normand. In 1901, the demolition of the St. Anne's Market and the fish market cleared out the heart of the neighbourhood, and shops, public buildings and organizational headquarters moved in. It was a that time that the City of Montreal decided to call the area "place d'Youville" after Marie-Marguerite d'Youville, one of its first residents.
The Centre d'histoire de Montréal, next to the fire station.
- The Pointe-à-Callière Museum.
- The area has been called since 2001 Place de la Grande-Paix-de-Montréal.
- In the centre, a former barracks is the premises for the Centre d'histoire de Montréal.
- A public work of art by Gilles Mihalcean called La Peur (Fear).
- "Fiche d'un espace public : Place d'Youville". 30 December 2005. Retrieved 14 July 2011.
- "Official website" (in French). August 2001. Retrieved 14 July 2011.