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Pointe-Claire

History of the fourth church

La quatrième église
The fourth church
Photo: 1885
Source: Désiré Girouard, Lake St. Louis Old and New, 1893

   

The shocked parishioners nevertheless rolled up their sleeves and set to rebuild the fourth church thanks to the insurance settlement. It was built on the ruins of the third and followed Victor Bourgeau's design for the third to the letter. No time was wasted; the church was completed in 1883.

Context within the History of Quebec Architecture

The architecture of this church epitomizes one of the highest points in the history of Montreal's architecture and crowns the work of one of the greatest Quebec architects of the time, Victor Bourgeau. The project, initiated in 1858 and begun ten years later in 1868 in Pointe-Claire, highlights one of the most popular architectural styles used both by the French and the English.

Architect James O'Donnell introduces the neo-gothic style to the architectural landscape of Montreal with his construction of Notre-Dame de Montreal church (1824-1829). The origins of this style hail from Great Britain and the United States. The construction of St-Patrick's Basilica between 1843 and 1847 confirms this new change from the classical style.

Early on, Victor Bourgeau is in contact with this new style. An internship at Notre-Dame in 1844, followed by one at Saint-Patrick under the mentorship of architect Pierre-Louis Morin confirms this. His first commission using the neo-gothic style was with Saint-Pierre-Apôtre Church (1851-1853). He is in the process of elaborating the plans for Saint-Joseph church (1861-1862), also neo-gothic, at the time in which he received the invitation from la fabrique of Pointe-Claire.

The project for the Pointe-Claire church enables him to further explore the possibilities with this style. The Pointe-Claire church will serve as a model for the Les Cèdres church in 1881.

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