31 March 2021
A wheelchair tour of eastern Old Montreal
Welcome to New France! The cradle of the city, Old Montreal is a magnet for visitors from all over the world. Its charming cobblestone streets are not the easiest to navigate, but the architecture is worth the effort!
The area is fairly large, so we have divided it into two short tours: one to the west and one to the east. But hardier travellers can certainly combine them.
7 accessible points of interest in Old Montreal
Take a moment to visit 7 accessible or partially accessible attractions on the east side of Old Montreal. You can stroll its streets along a route totalling about 2 kilometres (a mile and a quarter).
Consult the individual fact files for all the technical details and photos illustrating accessibility.
Located in the heart of the city’s administrative centre, Place Vauquelin was completely renovated for the city’s 375th anniversary in 2017 and is a great way to enter Old Montreal. At the bottom, you can contemplate a multimedia work by Cité Mémoire. At the top, you can see Montreal City Hall, the cradle of municipal democracy that lights up according to the social issues of the moment.
Place Vauquelin was completely redesigned recently, with universal accessibility in mind. The slope is still a bit steep because of the topography, but there is a long ramp with several landings zigzagging around the stairs.
Visit the Château Ramezay, the first building in Quebec to be classified as a historic monument! This prestigious residence invites you to relive more than 500 years of history through its many exhibitions, its multimedia tour offered in six languages and its New France garden.
All the rooms in the exhibition are very accessible. The most accessible entrance is at the back. It does have a 6-cm (3-in.) sill, however. The washroom is partially accessible.
A gathering place for centuries, Place Jacques-Cartier is where Montrealers and visitors alike gather to admire the view of the Old Port, watch buskers perform and just drink in the entertainment in all seasons, even the magic of the Holidays in the wintertime.
Jacques-Cartier Square extends lengthwise up a hill on a slope of about 14%. In winter, the alleys are not cleared. Few shops and restaurants are accessible: most have at least one step.
Formerly a farmer’s market, the Bonsecours Market is now an exhibition and trade centre that has lost none of its neoclassical architectural lustre. There are many restaurants, cafés and shops, as well as temporary displays, including the famous World Press Photo exhibition.
Most of the shops are accessible. A universal washroom is available.
Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel is Montreal’s oldest existing chapel, built in 1771. This is the resting place of Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys (1620-1700), founder of the chapel, of the first school in Montreal and of the Notre-Dame congregation. She remains a key figure in the city’s early history.
The entrance is a bit narrow and difficult to maneuver, but the interior is unobstructed.
Old Port of Montreal Promenade
Not to be missed during any visit to Old Montreal: a side trip to the Old Port! The Old Port of Montreal promenade has something enjoyable for everyone.
Take a look at the article Balade accessible dans le Vieux-Port (accessible stroll through the Old Port) for more details on the 2.5-km (1.5-mi.) route.
Sir George-Étienne Cartier Canadian national historic site
Sir George-Étienne Cartier Canadian national historic site is an elegant 19th-century bourgeois residence that was home to George-Étienne Cartier, a lawyer, businessman and one of the Fathers of Canadian Confederation.
All exhibition rooms are accessible, but some are narrower than others. The washrooms are partially accessible, mainly due to a constrained transfer zone.
Visit Old Montreal by metro via Champ-de-Mars
Explore the city without a car thanks to the Montreal metro! While this mode of transport has many shortcomings in terms of accessibility, it can also bring you to several touring destinations. In fact, we have found 60 points of interest within 500 metres of the 16 accessible STM stations. Champ-de-Mars station leads to the eastern end of Old Montreal.
Both entrances to the station are accessible and close to the elevator. To get to Old Montreal, you will have to cross the Ville-Marie expressway. Because the underpass is not accessible, it is preferable to go via the charming Place des Montréalaises to reach Hôtel-de-Ville avenue, then Gosford street. There should be an overhead link replacing it by next year.
Enjoy your visit to eastern Old Montreal!