Court of Appeal of Quebec

Architectural Features - Montreal

This adornment hangs above the entry to each courtroom, portraying classic representations of justice: the scales (symbolizing balance and fairness) and the sword (symbolizing power and punishment (the death penalty)).


Coat of Arms of Quebec in the Grand Entry Hall


The coats of arms of Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia were adopted by decree of Her Majesty the Queen Victoria on May 26, 1868 and modified by decree of the lieutenant governor in council 1939.


  • Two blue fleur-de-lis against a gold background highlight the French origins of the majority of the population.
  • The gold lion against a red background symbolizes the links between Quebec and Great Britain.
  • A branch with three maple leafs symbolizes Upper and Lower Canada.


At first, the crest portrayed only two fleur-de-lis, most likely a gesture on the part of the British Crown indicating it did not wish to usurp the coat of arms of Bourbon (France), which sported three fleur-de-lis against a blue background. Following various proposals, in 1939 the government adopted its own coat of arms reflecting Quebec’s unique political history. Unlike the other members of the Canadian federation, Quebec adopted its coat of arms independently of the British authorities.

Earlier the Court’s history, the second floor housed liaison officers, Crown officers, the judiciary, and prime ministers (notably, Duplessis and Taschereau). In fact, throughout the 1930s, 40s and 50s, the Office of the Premier of Quebec was located in this building. This was the case until the Hydro-Quebec building was inaugurated on what was then Dorchester Boulevard, now Boulevard René-Lévesque.   


A skylight in the Grand Entry Hall. The Ernest-Cormier Building includes 23 skylights, designed to take advantage of natural light to illuminate the building.


Lamp on a courtroom podium


During the extensive renovations that took place in the 2000s, the coffered ceiling in the Lafontaine Courtroom was entirely restored by 15 artisans over the course of three months. The colours we see today are faithful to the original ceiling.


The ceiling in the Lafontaine Courtroom is composed of true bas reliefs unlike the trompe l’oeil bas reliefs in the other courtrooms.


Picture of the entry taken from inside the building.


Entry to the Mediation Room

The Art Deco banisters designed by Edgar Brandt are cast in brass and bronze.

Cormier Furnishings

At the time the Court was constructed, architects designed not only buildings but also the furnishings that would adorn the new building. Over time, the original Cormier furnishings have been scattered throughout different government buildings. Many of these were located and returned to the Ernest Cormier Building during the renovations that took place between 2002 and 2004. Like the panelling in the courtrooms, the furniture designed by Cormier bears his signature mark: ebony inserts.

Lamps flanking the entry

These Egyptian-style lamps were designed and created by Edgar Brandt (1880-1960), a leader among the master ironworkers of the 20th Century. Cormier’s role in their design was limited to determining dimensions and general style. The base of these exterior lamps are decorated with lotus flowers arranged in a repetitive diagonal pattern.

View of the ceiling above the exterior vestibule.