A National Historic Site of Canada, St Patrick’s was originally opened as a church on March 17 1847 to welcome the masses of Irish immigrants that had just immigrated to Montreal following the famine in their motherland. At the time, the church was one of the highest constructions in the area and the 71-meters high spire inspired great respect from local dwellers; the Gothic Revival features made it a striking addition to the 19th century Montreal skyline. The interior is known for perfectly complementing the French as well as Irish heritages, with abundant fleur de lys and shamrocks. During his visit to the city in 1989 Pope John Paul II himself raised the church to a Minor Basilica, citing that it held significant impact not only on the Irish Canadians but also on the broader English-speaking Catholic communities of Canada.
St Patrick’s Basilica is located on René-Lévesque Boulevard West in downtown Montreal, Canada. It is easily accessible via René-Lévesque Boulevard, both coming in from the west and the east; there is ample paid parking, either metered or underground, in the area. Alternatively, the basilica is close to both McGill and Square Victoria metro stations, respectively on the green and orange lines. Opening hours are Monday to Friday between 8:30am to the 5:15pm mass, Saturdays between 10:30am to the 5pm mass, and Sundays between 8:30am to the 5pm mass.