Photo du Jour – Bassin du Grand Séminaire

Just to the west of the du Grand Séminaire building on Sherbrooke and du Fort, this shallow pool was built some time between 1731 and 1801 (the exact date seems to be unknown). An 1846 map of the site shows the basin in its current form. The picture above was taken on December 3rd 2008, just as the first crust of ice was forming on the surface of the water.

Measuring 158.5 by 7.6 m the basin initially ran through Fort de la Montagne‘s orchard, serving as drainage for the entire property. Later, the seminarians used it as a meditation pool. The basin is still filled by water that flows down from Mount Royal and, since a restoration project in 2000-04, drains into the municipal sewer system.

The site is home to some majestic centennial trees and remains a quiet, meditative place within a stone’s throw of Sherbrooke Street.

Source: Grand Séminaire de Montréal website


  1. thanks, I make a habit of collecting water fountains, pools, sculptures, and other water features around montreal to be part of my after work or weekend urban exploration (or best of) bike rides, and this is a new one.

    Hope to see the 4 above-ground segments of outremont’s Mile-end stream featured here sometime.

  2. Here’s a quiz: There’s another very similar basin in another Montreal location. Where is it?

    (Actually, given the extensiveness of religious properties in this city there may be more than one other, but I’m thinking of a specific one.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *