(Dorchester Square)(Dominion Square)(Catholic Sainte-Antoine Cemetery)

2903 Peel Street, Montreal, QC

(514) 872-0311

Status: Former Cholera Cemetery; Urban Park



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Interior of the square, with two monuments visible, Tribute to Laurier in foreground and Boer War Memorial behind with Dominion Square Building in background

By T noakes at English WikipediaCC BY-SA 3.0Link

Cathedral from Dorchester Square.JPG

By T noakes at English WikipediaCC BY-SA 3.0Link

Detroit Photographic Company (0947).jpg

By Unknown author - <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beinecke_Rare_Book_and_Manuscript_Library" class="extiw" title="en:Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library">Beinecke Rare Book &amp; Manuscript Library</a>, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yale_University" class="extiw" title="en:Yale University">Yale University</a> (<a rel="nofollow" class="external autonumber" href="http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/digitallibrary/america.html">[1]</a>)., Public Domain, Link

Reader Discretion is Advised – this Article Contains Depictions of Harm Being Done to Pregnant Mothers and Their Fetuses in an Outdated Catholic Ritual.



Before 1854 this parcel of land was an informal green spot in the burgeoning downtown of Montreal. Most of the area was used as a Catholic cemetery for the Catholic victims of the Cholera epidemics; the cemetery existed from 1799 to 1855.

In 1854 the official story is that all the bodies were exhumed and brought to Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery (Mont Royal) for re-internment. Perhaps the people buried here were just unhappy with being dug up and moved. Either way the Square has had reports of ghosts and paranormal activity during it’s time as a cemetery and ever since the bodies were said to have been moved.

By the 1870’s the square was becoming important in the urban geography of the growing city – it was forming a dividing line between the commercial centre of the city and the suburbs. In 1878 the park took on it’s present form with the Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral on the southeast corner and the Windsor Hotel on the western side.

In 1889 the Canadian Pacific Railway constructed Windsor Station on the south end of the square cementing it as a central part of the city. By the 1960’s, as the skyscrapers were going up in one of Canada’s largest and most important cities and the square was becoming the focal meeting point in the downtown core.

In 1967 – Canada’s Centennial year – the square was divided in two with the southern section being renamed Place du Canada and the northern section retaining the name Dominion Square.

In 1987 Dominion Square was renamed Dorchester Square in honour of Guy Carleton, Baron du Dorchester who had fought for French language rights in British North America (Canada’s name pre-Confederation).

Between 2009-2012 the park underwent a $3.5 million renovation including a state-of-the-art lighting system.


Paranormal Activity

Again, the official story is that all of 6,000+ souls buried in Sainte-Antoine Cemetery were dug up and re-buried in Mont Royal Cemetery. In truth, this would have been all but impossible.

The 1851 Cholera epidemic was the 5th of 5 Cholera epidemics that tore through the city in the 18th and 19th centuries. At the worst points of the epidemics huge trenches were quickly dug and the bodies just poured in – an attempt to stop the disease from ravaging the city.

The cemetery was also a victim of countless body thefts as the doctors and medical schools desperately tried to find a cure or a way to control the disease. The Catholic parishioners pleaded with their Priests to put an end to the theft of their loved one’s remains.

As the sickness spread the Priests actually set up shacks in the cemetery where they worked with the doctors on a rather gruesome ritual – called an infant baptism. In order to be accepted into a Heaven – according to the Catholic religion – one must be baptized. As pregnant women began to succumb to the disease they feared for the souls of their unborn fetuses.

The solution was for the doctors to preform a Caesarean section and the Priests poured holy water over the fetus thus baptising them. This, of course, resulted in the death of both the fetus and the mother. About 30 of these rituals were performed.

To this day the disembodied screams of agony and moans of pain heard in the Place du Canada section of the square are thought to be the ghosts of these tortured mothers seeking only to save their babies.

Near the Statue of Sir John A McDonald – Canada’s first Prime Minister – there is an inordinate number of cases where people need emergency medical services to deal with severe panic and anxiety attacks, shortness of breath, strokes and heart attacks. The number of calls is virtually impossible to define statistically and many people believe the statue is haunted and is attacking passerbys on an etheric level.

Rue de la Cathédrale is an especially active part of this haunting. It was path used to carry the corpses to the cemetery and used to be called Cemetery Street.

Reported Paranormal Activity: apparitions both in the square and on the surrounding streets; shadow figures; disembodied voices usually softly speaking prayers; time slips where witnesses see the funerals of the past take place before their eyes; electrical disturbances; unexplained mists; unexplained air movement; cold and hot spots; light anomalies – most commonly seen floating in the trees above the square; phantom footsteps and feelings of not being alone, things not quite seeming right and physical illness.