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Québec City Hall National Historic Site of Canada

2 Desjardins Street, Québec, Quebec, G1R, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1984/11/23

Corner view of the Québec City Hall National Historic Site of Canada, 1991.; Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada, 1991.
General view
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Other Name(s)

Québec City Hall National Historic Site of Canada
Québec City Hall
Hôtel de ville de Québec

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1895/01/01 to 1896/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/07/04

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Québec City Hall is a majestic stone building built in 1895-6 in an eclectic style typical of the late-Victorian era. The building occupies a full block on a sloping site in Québec's upper town within the boundaries of the UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site. The building was enlarged with a two-storey addition in 1929. The formal recognition consists of the building on its legal property at the time of designation.

Heritage Value

The Québec City Hall was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1984 because its monumental and elegant exterior and richly decorated interior make it one of the most stately city halls in Canada.

The Québec City Hall reflects the eclectic opulence of the late-Victorian period in its modified Second Empire style, while its confident formality also demonstrates the competencies of local artisans and builders. The basic form of the building is classical, rooted in a French Beaux-Arts design philosophy, and its vocabulary draws from a number of sources, including the Romanesque Revival and Châteauesque styles. The lavishness of the exterior is continued in the splendid interior decoration as evident in its sumptuous council chambers.

Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, 1984.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements which relate to the heritage value of Québec City Hall include:

- its Second Empire stylistic design, evident in the symmetry of the principal façade with its regularly spaced windows and string courses clearly delineating each storey, its four-and-a-half storey and its H-shaped plan with central entrance pavilion flanked by lateral wings and projecting corner pavilions, its steeply pitched roofs with ornately pedimented dormers and iron cresting;
- its masonry cladding using locally cut and dressed stone for exterior walls with rusticated stone foundation and smooth ashlar blocks above, and its combination of round arches at the main entrance and capping large second storey windows in the corner pavilions with flat-headed windows singly and groups;
- its high clock tower, an architectural feature often associated with municipal buildings;
- surviving features of the elegant interior, including its axial layout, richly decorated council chamber, the ornate ceiling of the council chamber, imposing volume and proportions of main public spaces, wooden wainscotting, and the press gallery with its decorated wooden railings and supporting brackets;
- its siting in the midst of a designed landscape with formal approaches to the building;
- its location near other late 19th-century administrative buildings within the upper town.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date

1984/11/23

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1929/01/01 to 1929/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Government and Institutions
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type

Current

Government
Town or City Hall

Historic

Government
Office or office building

Architect / Designer

Raoul Chênevert

Builder

J.B. Jinchereau, Ignace Bilodeau and J.B. Gingras

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

695

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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