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Montréal Forum National Historic Site of Canada

Atwater Street, Montréal, Quebec, H3H, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1997/06/01

The south (Sainte-Catherine Street) façade of the Montreal Forum in April of 1947, showing the original appearance of the structure with its commercial premises along the south and west (left side of the photograph) elevations.; Library and Archives Canada, PA129603, from the National Film Board, Phototèque Collection/ Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, PA129603, Office national du film du Canada, Collection Phototèque, 1947.
General view 1947
Corner view of the Montréal Forum, after exterior revised in 1968, 1997.; Parks Canada Agency/ Agence Parcs Canada, Dana Johnson, 1997.
General view 1997
No Image

Other Name(s)

Montréal Forum National Historic Site of Canada
Montréal Forum
Forum de Montréal

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/06/04

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Montréal Forum is a large, indoor venue for professional ice hockey. It is located at the corner of Sainte-Catherine and Atwater streets in the city of Montréal. The formal recognition consists of the building on its legal property.

Heritage Value

The Montréal Forum was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1997 because it was arguably the country's most famous sporting venue. Because of its intimate association with one of the most successful sporting franchises in North America, the Montréal Canadiens, it also serves as an icon for the role of hockey in Canada`s national culture. Further, the Forum is the oldest of Canada`s large-scale arenas and has, throughout its history, been the country`s leading site for major indoor cultural, political and religious events.

The heritage value of this site resides in its association with professional ice hockey, and specifically as the former home of the Montréal Canadiens. Built in 1924 as a professional ice hockey venue, the Montréal Forum served for 71 years as the home of the Montréal Canadiens, one of the earliest professional teams and Canada's oldest continuously operating franchise. Founded in 1909, the Canadiens set records unsurpassed in all of professional sport in North America, for the making the most appearances in playoffs and in Stanley Cup finals. Because of its close identification with the Canadiens, the Forum is regarded as ice hockey's ''Holy Place''.

The Forum is a rare early example of a large indoor venue suitable for international and national events and has accommodated a broad range of social, political and religious events. These include pop and rock concerts, symphonic performances and opera; non-musical shows of all kinds; sports events other than hockey, including boxing, wrestling, tennis and the 1976 Olympic gymnastics competition; political and sacred rallies, conventions, meetings and ceremonies.

The building was substantially reconstructed in 1968. In 1996 the Forum was officially closed and converted for other uses.

Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, June 1997.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements which relate to the heritage value of the Montréal Forum are:
- its location within Montréal,
- the footprint of the original building,
- original surviving fabric and design components which relate to use by the Montréal Canadiens during the period from 1924 to 1996,
- original surviving fabric and design components which relate to use for large, indoor, social, religious and political events during the period from 1924 to 1996,
- its scale, evidence of its capacity to host national sporting events.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1924/01/01 to 1996/01/01
1968/01/01 to 1968/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Sports and Leisure

Function - Category and Type


Recreation Centre


Auditorium, Cinema or Nightclub

Architect / Designer

Kenneth Sedleigh



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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