Recognition tools

Last updated September 30, 2022

Montréal strives to recognize people, property or events that have influenced its past. By awarding recognition, the city promotes its history, heritage and culture, and strengthens its urban identity.

The city takes various actions to highlight the contribution of these cultural heritage elements to Montréal society (e.g. naming a site, organizing a celebration, and installing a monument).

The recognition framework

The framework sets out principles and criteria to ensure that the awarding of new recognition is consistent.

In addition, as knowledge and values evolve in society, questions sometimes arise about people or events recognized in another era. Such situations may lead to requests for revision of certain acts of recognition that took place long ago, a process also covered in the framework.

Identifying a new subject for recognition

Individuals, groups or municipal authorities can all propose a subject for recognition.  Recognition is a way to honour an important subject such as an institution, a social or cultural phenomenon, an event, a historical figure, a group of people, a tradition, a practice or know-how, a place, urban ensemble, building, and a heritage object.

The framework for recognition states the criteria for assessing the eligibility of proposed subjects and designating the most appropriate recognition tool.

Recognition tools

The city has five tools to promote its heritage, identity and values.

Commemorative ceremony

A ceremony intended to recognize deceased persons, historical events or anniversaries.

Tangible commemoration 

Tangible commemoration aims to recall facts, deceased persons or significant cultural practices by erecting monuments, affixing plaques, setting up a special space or installing or any other physical marker on public property. It is a form of permanent recognition integrated into the city’s environment.


This form of recognition involves naming public places such as streets or parks after a person, a group of persons or a historical fact or event. Place names are not only gestures of recognition. They also serve as a means of identification and orientation in the city. Montréal has more than 6,000 place names in use on its territory.


Identification is the formal recognition of elements of intangible heritage,* a deceased historical person, an event or a historical place. It is intended to encourage the knowledge, recognition and transmission of these heritage elements.

Example: The identification of a craft or culinary know-how specific to Montréal.


Citation provides protection for sites and buildings, to promote and enhance them. A citation can be given to four types of heritage property: A building, site, object or document belonging to the municipality.

Example: The heritage site Square-Dorchester-et-de-la-Place-du-Canada

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