Former Montréal Postal Terminal
Ancien hôtel des postes
Links and documents
1934/01/01 to 1937/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Federal Building, also known as the former Montréal Postal Terminal, is a massive, seven-storey building in downtown Montréal. Its façade is divided into a one and two-storey granite-clad base, which supports the subsequent floors clad in brick. Gothic detailing is found around the main entrance, and the corners of the building are accented by slightly projecting pavilions with tripartite window groupings. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
The Federal Building is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and architectural and environmental values.
The Federal Building, the first of its kind, is directly associated with a new type of postal facility in the 1930s in Canada, found primarily in large urban transportation centers.
The Federal Building is valued for its very good aesthetic and functional design. A slightly gothic influence is seen in its design, reinforced by the gothic detailing around its main entrance. The building represents the first time that principles of modern industrial design and planning were applied to the problem of mail handling in Canada and is a distinctive building type.
The Federal Building reinforces the present character of its urban setting in downtown Montréal. It is a familiar building in the area.
Sources: Marc de Caraffe, L’ancien Hôtel des Postes, Montreal, Québec, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office, Building Report, 83-029; Federal Building, Montreal, Québec, Heritage Character Statement, 83-029.
The character-defining elements of the Federal Building should be respected.
Its very good aesthetic and functional design and good craftsmanship and materials, for example:
- the seven storey massing;
- the reinforced concrete and steel construction;
- the façades, divided horizontally into a one and two storey granite-clad base, which support the subsequent brick-clad floors;
- the strong vertical emphasis of the three street elevations defined by narrow brick piers which extend the full height of the building;
- the corners of the building, which are accented by slightly projecting pavilions punctuated by a distinctive tripartite window grouping;
- the use of metal spandrels between each of the wide windows, which visually unites the space between the piers into a series of elongated panels, which are capped by a slightly pointed arch;
- the gothic detailing around the main entrance;
- the window treatment and arrangement.
The manner in which the Federal Building reinforces the present character of its urban setting in downtown Montreal and is a familiar building, as evidenced by:
- its overall scale, design and materials, which harmonized with the architectural fabric of the neighbourhood;
- its large scale and prominent location which make it a familiar building in downtown Montréal.
Government of Canada
Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy
Recognized Federal Heritage Building
1953/01/01 to 1953/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Post Office
Architect / Designer
Department of Public Works
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection