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Courthouses of Canada: Quebec Court of Appeal

|Written By Gail J. Cohen

It's been some time since we posted a photo in our Courthouses of Canada series but here is the latest.

The Québec Court of Appeal is the highest court in the province. The Édifice Ernest-Cormier was built between 1922 and 1926 and designed by architects Louis-Auguste Amos, Charles J. Saxe, and Ernest Cormier in the Classical Revival architectural style. It is built of of Montreal greystone, a limestone, quarried from the Île-Jésus, and is four storeys tall. Its base and columns are made of grey granite from Stanstead in the Eastern Townships. Construction cost $5 million.

It was the second courthouse in Montreal to bear the name Palais de justice de Montréal. After Cormier’s death in 1980, the building was renamed in his honour.

Upon its inauguration on Nov. 22, 1926, the building, which covers a city block, held courtrooms, dormitories for jurors, local police, and prisoners. Offices for judges and Crown attorneys and registrars were later added. From the 1930s to 1950s, the premiers of Quebec also had their offices in this building.

In 1972, after a new courthouse, the building was empty but the Archives nationales du Québec settled there from 1974 to 1987 and conservatories of music and drama from 1975 to 2001. Exentensive restoration work took place between 2002 and 2005 and the building now houses the Court of Appeal of Quebec in Montreal. Twenty judges sit on the bench, including the chief justice and several supernumerary judges. Cases are usually heard by three judges.

The Édifice Ernest-Cormier is located at 100 Notre-Dame St. E., across the street from both the first Palais de justice de Montréal, Édifice Lucien-Saulnier, and the current courthouse.


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