Old Parliament Building (Quebec)

Old Parliament Building (Quebec)

Old Parliament Building (Quebec) was the site of the seat of government of Lower Canada, Canada West, Province of Canada and Quebec.

It was located in what is Parc Montmorency today, the site of two Parliament buildings from 1791 to 1883.



The first building on the site was the Chapel of Bishop's Palace, which was ordered built by Bishop Saint-Vallier from 1693 to 1695. In 1777 the building was rented to the British government to house the Legislative Council under orders from then Governor General Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester. From 1791 to 1838 it was home to the House of Assembly and Legislative Council of Lower Canada.

Chronology of Parliament Buildings of Quebec

Parliament Buildings of Province of Canada in Montreal, 1840s

Several Parliament Buildings were built at this site:

  • 1777 British government rents the Chapel of Bishop's Palace within the Episcopal Palace of Quebec for the Legislative Council
  • 1831 addition added to the Episcopal Palace and demolition of Chapel of Bishop's Palace
  • 1840 Quebec no longer capital and buildings becomes vacant with the establishment of the Province of Canada (rotated between Kingston, Montreal and Toronto)
  • 1850 Parliament returns to the Episcopal Palace
  • 1852–1853 Episcopal Palace is demolished to make way for new Parliament buildings
  • 1854 new Parliament Buildings destroyed by fire
  • 1854–1859 Parliament relocates to two locations:
    • Quebec Music Hall (or Academy of Music) on rue St. Louis - a three-storey Greek Revival structure built by Charles Baillairge from 1851 to 1853; it burned down in 1900
    • Quebec City Courthouse – a three-storey wooden building built between 1799 and 1804; it burned down in 1873 (now home to Old Courthouse of Quebec)
  • 1859–1860 new Parliament completed and served sessions from 1860 to 1865
  • 1866 capital of the province moves to Ottawa, Ontario, and buildings becomes vacant
  • 1867–1883 the province of Quebec is created and the Parliament is designated this as home until 1883
  • 1883 Parliament destroyed after fire and Parliament was relocated to another site thereafter
  • post 1883 – Parliament moved to the current Parliament Building (Quebec); the old building is demolished and now known as Parc Montmorency

The parliament building was a Greek Revival structure with a dome in the central structure flanked by two wings. Built between 1830 and 1850, it was destroyed by a fire in 1854.[1]

The building's interior is featured in Robert Harris' 1884 painting "Conference at Quebec in 1864.


External links

Preceded by
Parliament Buildings of Canada West, Toronto
Site of the Legislative Assembly of the United Provinces of Canada
Succeeded by
Quebec Music Hall and Quebec City Courthouse, Quebec
Preceded by
Parliament Buildings of Canada West, Toronto
Site of the Legislative Assembly of the United Provinces of Canada
Succeeded by
Centre Block, Ottawa

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