The newly renovated Montreal Quebec Temple stands as a tribute to the rich and diverse history of Montreal and the pioneering Latter-day Saints who built the Church in Quebec’s largest bilingual city.
“This is our opportunity to honor the great people who have been pioneers in the Church as it has blossomed in this magnificent nation,” said President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency, before rededicating the Montreal Quebec Temple on Sunday, Nov. 22.
President Eyring said President Thomas S. Monson — who presided over the Canadian Mission from 1959 to 1962 and sent the first French-speaking missionaries to Quebec — wanted to be in Canada for the historic rededication. “The last time he and I spoke, I felt of his great love for the Canadian people,” he said.
Located at 1450 Boulevard Marie-Victorin in Longueuil next to the St. Lawrence River, the Montreal Quebec Temple was originally dedicated in June 2000 by then-President Gordon B. Hinckley. It closed on June 2, 2014, for a complete renovation due to extensive water damage.
The rededicated 11,550-square-foot temple will serve nearly 11,000 Church members in Quebec and Ottawa.
The major design motifs for both the exterior and interior of the temple honor the city’s flag and history — with four floral emblems representing the four main European ethnic groups that settled in the area in the 19th century. A fleur-de-lis honors the French, a rose the English, a thistle the Scots and a shamrock the Irish.
“As you enter the temple you see the emblems of the founding communities in this area,” said Elder Alain Allard, an Area Seventy who is chairman of the local temple committee.
Montreal is a French-speaking city with many English-speaking-residents, he said. “It is sometimes difficult. When it works it is heaven. The two communities together are heaven.”
The renovated temple, he continued, will unite the two linguistic communities — and the many others in the area.
“You will see a very devoted people here,” said Elder Allard. “When people join the Church they really dedicate themselves.”
He is one example.
Elder Allard met the missionaries in Montreal in 1972 when he was 20 years old and newly married. With his wife, Nicole Lalumiére Allard, he began attending a small French-speaking branch.
“But it grew very fast,” he said, noting that a year later the branch was divided and became three branches. “It was a fun time of a lot growth,” he said.
The Allards traveled to Switzerland to be sealed in the temple — the only temple in the Church then offering the endowment in French.
Danielle and Michel Carter joined the Church in 1978, just months after the Montreal Quebec Stake was created. He served as president of the stake from 1987 to 1996. During those years, the Church built seven meetinghouses and one stake center in Montreal.
Today there are three stakes in Quebec — two French-speaking and one English-speaking. Brother Carter said the Church has steadily grown in Quebec.
“Year after year, we were able to baptize and grow and create ward units,” he said.
Brother Carter remembers a Church meeting in the mid-1990s when President Hinckley noted during a member meeting that the Church was considering building a temple in Montreal.
After the meeting, Brother Carter told President Hinckley: “President, now that [the prospect of a temple in Montreal] is out there, we will look forward to hearing from you.”
President Hinckley responded: “Now … I will have to do something about it.”
The Carter’s son, Jean-Michel Carter, will never forget the meeting in 1998 when President Hinckley announced that the temple would be built. “Everyone started clapping and yelling. They were happy,” he said.
Jean-Michel and his four siblings all married in the Montreal Quebec Temple.
Before the rededication, Jean-Michel worked as a member of the temple committee compiling the local history of the Church in the area. In spite of the cultural, ethnic and linguistic differences of Latter-day Saints in Montreal, “one thing is clear to me,” he said. “The people here love the temple.”
Linda Pelchat also remembers the temple announcement. “It was such a surprise when President Hinckley said we were going to get a temple. Everyone started clapping … ,” she said. “What a blessing.”
Sister Pelchat’s late husband, Gerard, was the first stake president in Montreal.
She first learned about the Church during Expo 67 — a world fair held in Montreal during Canada’s centennial year. She saw a picture at the Church exhibit with the question, “Do you want to be happy?”
When missionaries knocked on her door in 1970, she let them in. Soon she invited her future husband, who had also visited the Church’s display at Expo 67, to join her in the discussions.
Just as the display promised, the Pelchats found great happiness participating in Gold and Green and Harvest balls and delivering phone books twice a year to supply the ward budget.
They attended the dedication of two temples — the Washington D.C. and the Toronto Ontario Temple — before a temple was built in their city.
Elder Allard said the members in Quebec missed the temple during the year and a half of renovation.
“We knew we had lost something, but we knew it was going to be made better,” he said.
Family history is one reason they love the temple, he said. “The records of our ancestors are outstanding. This has brought an immense interest in temple work.”
The Montreal Quebec Temple, announced in August 1998, became the 86th operating temple when it was dedicated on June 4, 2000, by President Gordon B. Hinkley. After renovations, it was rededicated by President Henry B. Eyring.
Montreal Quebec Temple fact box
Location: 1450 Boulevard Marie-Victorin, Longueuil, QC J4G 1A4, Canada
Renovation start date: June 10, 2014
Public open house: Nov. 5–14, 2015, excluding Sundays
Cultural celebration: Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, at Monument-National theatre
Dedication: Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015, three sessions
Property size: 2.4 acres
Building size: 11,550 square feet
Building height: 70 feet to the top of the gilded angel Moroni statue
Architects: VCBO Architecture, Salt Lake City, and FSA Architects, Montreal
Contractor: BTL Construction, Saint Laurent, Quebec
Building: Part of the renovation process was to strengthen the existing wood-framed structure and upgrade the mechanical systems and interior finishes. The structure was then clad with granite stone from Quebec.
Exterior and interior art glass: The exterior art glass was designed by VCBO Architecture and fabricated by Warren Edis of Kelowna, British Columbia, and Medieval Glass of Vancouver, British Columbia. The windows feature gold and blue glass in a geometric design based on historic metal grill patterns found on doors and windows in Montreal.
Exterior stone carvings: Designed by VCBO Architecture, sculpted by Stefani Hunt of Spanish Fork, Utah, and manufactured by Les Pierres Technofil Inc. of St. Nicolas, Quebec. Exterior carving motifs are of a maple leaf.
Color scheme: The predominant color scheme is cream-colored paint with gold-leaf accents. Gold-leaf pinstripes accent crown moldings and floral motif carvings throughout.
Millwork: The mahogany wood in the temple is from Africa and was milled by Ebénisterie Renova of Plessiville, Quebec. Native maple millwork from Quebec is also featured throughout the building with a white painted finish.
Baptismal font: The baptismal font features Crema Marfil stone with Jerusalem Gold accents and bronze railings by Forge d’Ilmarinen of Coaticook, Quebec.
Mural: The original oil mural is by David Koch of Richmond, Utah. The landscape depicts the wildlife and landscape of the Montreal area, specifically the St. Lawrence River.
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