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Bain Saint-Michel

5300, Saint-Dominique Street

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Bain Saint-Michel

Published on : November 03 2022

Last modified on : February 21 2023

The Turcot Bathhouse was built in 1909-1910 according to the plans of architect Zotique Trudel.

Its majestic Beaux-Arts-inspired facade on Maguire Street is reminiscent of a theater, featuring an iconic oculus window.

The main entrance is on Saint-Dominique Street, where we find the functional façade of the building showing the volume of the bath, the locker rooms and the boiler room with the chimney.

The interior of the bathhouse is also of architectural value, especially the basin and its mosaics, as well as the ceramic tiles that make up the essential of the interior finish.

In 1993, the bathhouse closed its doors. Until 2014, it is used occasionally for cultural events. Since then, renovation projects have been announced but never completed, and the building is still vacant.

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Bain Saint-Michel

Source: Bain Saint-Michel, Marco Campanozzi, La Presse

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Bain Saint-Michel en 2022

Source: Jacques Nadeau, 2022, Le Devoir

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Bassin du bain Saint-Michel en 2011

Source: Galia Vaillancourt, 2011


At the turn of the 20th century, Montreal was facing health and hygiene issues: few households had access to baths or even running water, and public bathing facilities in the river were no longer sanitary due to sewer spills.

It was in this context that in the 1910s, municipal authorities began building several public bathhouses, including the Émard, Saint-Denis and Turcot bathhouses. Another wave of construction took place in the 1930s, as part of public works for the unemployed.

In the 1940s, the generalization of sanitary installations in apartments led the public bathhouses to change their purpose, becoming more recreational pools.

In 1993, the Turcot bathhouse – which was renamed Saint-Michel in 1937 in reference to the name of the neighbourhood – closed its doors. The users of the pool were directed to the pool of the new YMCA du Parc, recently inaugurated.

The Saint-Michel bathhouse is then used occasionally for cultural events such as plays, exhibitions, etc.

In 2011, citizens of the neighborhood mobilized and asked for the reopening of the Bain Saint-Michel as a public pool for community, sports and leisure purposes. Their request did not materialize.

In 2014, the building’s structure was deemed unsafe and the bath closed its doors for good.

The following year, the City of Montreal, in conjunction with the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications, announced $1.3 million in funding for the renovation of the building’s envelope (masonry, oculus window) in order to perpetuate its vocation as a place for cultural creation. It is planned that the main basin will be converted into a performance hall that can accommodate about 100 people.

In 2016, important cost overruns (notably on the roof and the masonry) provoke an interruption of the works.

In 2018, the necessary work was estimated at 4 million. Organizations wishing to move into the Bain Saint-Michel are asked to become “co-managers” of the project and eventually of the site. It is estimated that the work will be completed in 2019.

Finally, between 2016 and 2018, only urgent work “to save the furniture” was carried out (according to Richard Ryan, City Councillor, Mile End district).

In 2021, new funding of 8 million was announced for the completion of the project in order to welcome the public in the spring of 2022. Unfortunately, in the summer of 2022, with only one-third of the planned work completed, the City of Montreal terminated the contractor’s contract. Decontamination work and the resolution of water infiltration have delayed the progress of the development. No resumption of work has been announced at this time.

Dinu Bumbaru, Director of Policy at Heritage Montreal, “is concerned that further delays in the completion of the City’s redevelopment project will result in lasting damage to the building. “The building is at risk of going under,” he warns. He hopes that the City will ensure that the building does not fall into disrepair while waiting for the works to resume.” Le Devoir, August 11, 2022.



Saint-Michel Bathhouse, Mile End Memories

Énoncé de l’intérêt patrimonial, Ville de Montréal, 2015. (in French) 

L’épopée du bain Saint-Michel, Mario Girard, 18 mars 2021, La Presse. (in French)

  • Municipality or borough


    Le Plateau-Mont-Royal

  • Issues


    Mechanisms for protection

    Interior spaces

  • Owner(s)


    Public : Municipal

  • Threat(s)



    No upkeep

    Inappropriate/incompatible use

  • Conception


    Zotique Trudel

  • Manager(s)


    City of Montreal

  • Categorie(s)





  • Construction year



  • Recognition status


    Building of exceptional heritage value

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