Old Port of Montreal Clock Tower is a Must-See Summer Attraction

Montreal Clock Tower
Credit Preteesh

Montreal engineer, Paul Leclaire designed the Clock Tower at the Old Port of Montreal. It constructed between 1919 and 1922 to help hide the hideous sheds which, at the time, lined the docks.

The imposing, lightly-colored concrete structure sits prominently on the Victoria Pier in Montreal’s Old Port.

In its lifetime, it has performed multiple roles: as a tribute to commemorate sailors lost at sea during the war. It was also built to direct entry to the Old Port, to hide nearby storage shelters, and, of course, to help Montrealers tell time!

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Standing 40 meters tall, the Clock Tower directs entry to the harbor. Gillett and Johnston of England built its clock mechanism, which is identical to London’s Big Ben. And, just like Big Ben, sailors would set their timepieces by it for its exemplary accuracy. It really is a must-see attraction.

The Clock Tower was the harbor’s time master in a period when watches were not an everyday accessory. Legend has it that when the clock wasn’t working, many employees of the port would arrive to work late.

Because of its extremely powerful light, the tower also functioned as a lighthouse to direct incoming ships.

Since 1996 the Montreal Clock Tower was classified as a federal heritage building. If you climb up its 192 steps to the top, you’ll have exceptional panoramic views of Montreal and the St. Lawrence River. And, you can visit this attraction at no charge in the summer months.

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