Mount Royal Cross
|Croix du mont Royal|
Daytime image (pre-renovation)
|Width||11 metres (36 ft)|
|Height||31.4 metres (103 ft)|
|Beginning date||May 16, 1924|
|Completion date||Mid-September 1924|
An illuminated cross was installed in 1924 by the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste and was given to the city in 1929. Even though the city assumed responsibility for maintenance and operation of the cross since then, no documentation supporting the transaction existed prior to June 2004 when the Montreal City Council approved cessation of the monument.
The current cross stands 31.4 m (103 ft) tall. It was converted to fibre-optic light in 1992, allowing the cross to be lit in red, blue or purple. Work began on the cross on May 16, 1924, and although it had been completed by mid-September, the cross was illuminated for the first time on Christmas Eve. The electricity provided to light the cross was provided free of charge by Montreal Heat, Power, and Light.
In 2008-9, the cross was taken down while it was renovated and while its lighting system was converted to polychromatic LEDs. The city also took advantage of this to perform additional work to improve access to the site and install new park furniture. The renovations' total cost was $2 million and the bill was footed by the City and by the Ministère de la culture, des communications et de la condition féminine.
The cross is made of steel and consists of 1,830 pieces joined by 6,000 rivets weighing 26 tons. It is 31.4 metres tall and its arms span 11 metres and it stands 252 metres above the St. Lawrence River. Following the latest renovation, it is lit by 158 18-LED bulbs.
The cross is usually lit in white and the new LED system allows it to be any colour, including the purple traditionally used between the death and election of a new Pope. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Montreal is the body responsible of informing the city of the death of the Pope. Before the installation of the fibre-optic lighting, the purple illumination was accomplished by changing all the light bulbs. It is now controlled by computer. On various occasions, the cross has been turned red for AIDS awareness and blue for Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day. The Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI presented a bit of a dilemma for how the cross would be lit; it was later announced that the cross would be lit in white during the interregnum preceding the election of Pope Francis on March 13, 2013.
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Next to the cross, a plaque marks the emplacement of a time capsule buried in 1992, during Montreal's 350th birthday celebration. It contains messages and drawings from 12,000 children, depicting their visions for the city in the year 2142, when it is scheduled to be opened.
- Laurence, Jean-Christophe. "Nouvel éclairage pour la croix du mont Royal." La Presse, 4 February 2009.
- "Mount Royal cross gets makeover". CBC News. 2008-09-18. Retrieved 2013-02-28.
- Hour.ca - News - Brief
- "Mount Royal cross will stay white for Pope's exit". CBC Montreal. CBC. February 28, 2013. Retrieved March 17, 2013.
- "Montreal to go dark for Earth Hour". Montreal Gazette (Canwest). 2009-02-22. Retrieved 2009-02-22.[dead link]
- Walking tour: Mount Royal, Frommer's