Bed and Breakfast in Montreal – Gingerbread Manor

Old Montreal's St-Jacques Street

A Walk Down St-Jacques: From History to Hustle

Today, I’m taking you on a stroll down one of our most historic streets of Old Montreal, St-Jacques, St-James street in English. We are about to cover a whole lot of ground, from grand old architecture to hidden gems.

Our journey starts at Place d’Armes. Stand facing the majestic Notre-Dame Basilica. As you look to your left, the large building that resembles the “Empire State Building” is the Aldred building, considered one of the two last skyscrapers built before the great depression. To it’s left, closer to you, is the New York Life Insurance Building, built between 1887 and 1889, considered Montreal’s first skyscraper.

On the other side of the street, to the right and left of 500 Place d’Armes (sorry for the ugly 1960’s building) there are two statues. officially “Les deux snobs or “The English Pug and the French Poodle”. The two owners looking away from the Church and the Bank, symbols of French and English power. A nod to the city’s two personalities and two roots of power.

Behind you is the Bank of Montreal’s head office, a true Montreal landmark. History buffs will love the Bank of Montreal Museum tucked away inside. Fun fact: whisper “Gingerbread Manor” at the entrance for free entry (wink, wink).

The two buildings to the right of the Bank of Montreal head office that are currently a hotel were once the head offices of People’s Bank and the Hochelaga Bank. 

Continuing down St-Jacques towards the “Pug” statue, we pass the LOVE sign then the grand old St-James Theatre, a performing arts venue. At one time, this was the Montreal head office of the Canadian Bank of Commerce.

The stately old Molson Bank Building, (merged with the Bank of Montreal) is another architectural gem. And on the corner, you can’t miss the former Royal Bank head office, now a vibrant space housing Crew Cafe and Collective.

Head across the street to the World Trade Centre Montreal where you can touch a piece of the Berlin Wall – a powerful reminder of history’s twists and turns.

Finally, we reach our destination: Victoria Square. Here, you’ll find the iconic statue of Queen Victoria keeping watch over the city. Don’t miss the stunning Parisian Art Nouveau entrance to the metro station – a true hidden gem!

Across the square lies Place Victoria (Tour de la Bourse), home to the Montreal Stock Exchange and the offices of IATA, the International Air Transport Association. Incidentally, just around the corner on St-Antoine and Robert Bourassa, you’ll find the headquarters of ICAO, the International Civil Aviation Organization, a vital part of the United Nations that keeps our skies safe.

So there you have it! A whirlwind tour down St-Jacques Street, packed with history, architecture, and a touch of the global scene. This is just a taste of what Montreal has to offer, so put on your walking shoes and get exploring!

Rue St-Jacques
Gingerbread Manor Exterior

Stay Victorian... Stay at Gingerbread Manor

After your captivating stroll down Rue St-Jacques, unwind in the luxurious comfort of a bygone era at Gingerbread Manor.

This meticulously restored Victorian mansion, brimming with old-world charm, is mere steps away from the historical gems you just explored. Imagine waking up to a delicious breakfast and planning your next Montreal adventure, invigorated by a night steeped in Montreal’s rich heritage.

Don’t just experience Montreal’s history, become a part of it. Book your stay at Gingerbread Manor today!