He glanced out at the crowded courtroom in the Palais de Justice in Old Montréal. Most of the people who might have been there had decided to stay home. Some, like Myrna and Clara and Reine-Marie, would be called as witnesses and didn’t want to come in until they absolutely had to. Other villagers—Olivier, Gabri, Ruth—simply didn’t want to leave Three Pines to come all the way into the stifling city to relive this tragedy.
But Gamache’s second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, was there, as was Chief Inspector Isabelle Lacoste. The head of homicide.
It would be their turn to testify, soon enough. Or perhaps, he thought, it would never come to that. (Pg. 2-3)
Originally built in 1971, the Palais de Justice is located on Notre-Dame Street in the Villa-Marie Borough of Montreal.
This imposing building isn’t the first Palais de Justice in Old Montreal. The first one opened as a courthouse in 1856 but is now being used, temporarily, as a city hall. The Old Montreal Courthouse is now known as the Édifice Lucien-Saulnier. The second Palais de Justice, built in the 1920s, is currently home to the Quebec Court of Appeal and goes by the name Édifice Ernest-Cormier.
The current Palais de Justice doesn’t just have modern architecture, but a modern sculpture out front as well. Allegrocube, the bronze sculpture in front of the courthouse, was designed by Charles Daudelin – a renowned French-Canadian artist – and was installed in 1973. Daudelin later created the L’Embâcle sculpture in St-Germain-des-Prés, a gift from Canada to Paris. L’Embâcle’s image, which translates to “Ice Jam”, became an official Canadian stamp in 2002.
While the Palais de Justice stands in stark contrast to the centuries-old buildings that surround it, the Villa-Marie area is a must-see district when visiting Montreal. Attractions include the Notre-Dame Basilica, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Sun Life Building, and McGill University.