I am extremely lucky to have found an apartment in the beautiful area of Côte-des-Neiges with a backdrop of the notorious Oratory from my bedroom balcony. The Oratory is Canada’s largest church and sits overlooking Montreal.
Its gardens were open later this year thanks to the glorious weather we have been experiencing in Autumn. I was therefore able to to roam through its beautiful gardens with my roommate. We followed the passage of marble monuments in the ‘garden of the way of the cross’ telling the story of the ‘Resurrected Christ.’ It’s also a peaceful place to sit and read on a sunny day.
Being European, I have never stepped into a church as modern as the Oratory. Inside, the escalators carry tourists and locals up and down its floors. With a fantastic museum with many exhibitions to explore, it is no wonder why tourists travel far and wide to walk up the many steps to the Oratory.
Every summer, a poster of Frère André hangs above the stairs of the church so people can catch a glimpse of the man who began constructing the church in 1904. Frère André became famous for his healing powers and therefore became a Saint. The Church dedicates many sections for their Saint including a room with his tomb where he is buried. In a hallway full of candles, there is a display of crutches representing the people who he miraculously healed.
With new development projects underway, one project aims to create a 360 degree view of Montreal at the apogee of the church!
There is so much to do and see inside the Oratory, it is even worth a visit on a rainy day!