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Dominion Square Hotel – Then and Now Montreal

By: Dick Nieuwendyk – mtltimes.ca

Dominion Square Hotel – Situated in the heart of the Golden Square Mile, the Dominion Square Tavern is a historic landmark, which was part of the Dominion Square Hotel, opened in 1927. After having survived the Great Depression, a massive fire destroyed most of the the hotel, leaving the restaurant and a few rooms intact, in the small building we see today.

Throughout the years it saw many changes and had several owners. In the 1970s, it became one of the first male gay bars in Montreal only accessible from a discrete back alley entrance. Afterwards it became the Dominion Pub which was for men only. In 1988, when men-only bars were abolished, the pub became a sports pub that, by most accounts, was pretty seedy.

In 2009, the property was bought by Alexandre Wolofianski, his wife, Nicole Lemelin and Alex Baldwin, owners of Whisky Café, and Baldwin Barmacie.


Dominion Square Tavern + Hotel – ca 1927

After extensive renovations, it once again became a restaurant, capturing the look and feel of the 1920s-era, and offering bistro-style dishes with a French-Canadian twist and British influenced tavern cuisine. The 1920s terrazzo floor is still intact. 10 wooden plaques, each bearing the coat of arms of the Dominion of Canada, cover the original porcelain tiled walls, and original chandeliers, still featuring pull-chains hanging from their bases, light up the high ceiling room. Old faded mirrors form the backsplash of a 40-foot brass bar, and a tall library style ladder is used to reach the higher placed bottles.


Domionion Square Tavern (1243 Metcalfe) + Balsam Inn (1237 Metcalfe) – 2016
Photo: Dick NIeuwendyk

Today, the Dominion Square Tavern, with its true Roaring Twenties style décor and atmosphere ushers the visitor back to an early elegant era in the history of Montreal.

Wooden plaque bearing the coat of arms of Newfoundland
Photo: Alejandro Augier

Source: Taverne Dominion / Mtl Gazette / Tourisme Quebec /

To see the article in the Montreal Times 22.64 May 6, 2017 edition please click on the above image
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