Saint Joseph's Oratory gets $80M for renovations

The iconic Saint Joseph’s Oratory is getting a facelift for Montreal’s 375th anniversary aimed at allowing visitors to enjoy "a greener, more accessible, more user-friendly site."

Improvements aimed at enhancing visitor experience

In this time lapse video we see a bit of the visitor's experience to the iconic structure. 0:40

The iconic Saint Joseph's Oratory is getting an $80 million facelift for Montreal's 375th anniversary.

The rector of Saint Joseph's Oratory, Father Claude Grou, said the investment would enhance the tourist experience.

"When this project is complete, [visitors] will be able to enjoy a greener, more accessible, more user-friendly site," Grou said.

The announcement was made this morning at the oratory.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre said it was a sound investment since religious tourism brings in $250 million annually for the city.

He added that the oratory is an important part of our heritage.

"Let's be proud. Let's be happy," Coderre said.

The funding is coming primarily from the Quebec and Canadian governments, which have committed $53 million. The City of Montreal is slated to contribute $10 million. Saint Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal will cover the remaining $17 million.

Included in the renovation plans are new visitor facilities, improvements to site accessibility, a new pedestrian area and new bells.