Pointe-à-Callière received a private donation of major historical importance related to Place D’Youville, site of the former St. Ann’s Market, which housed the Parliament of the “Province of Canada”: the official coat of arms of the British monarchy that hung in the building where Parliament sat from 1844 to 1849.
The Royal armswere discovered in New York and purchased by a knowledgeable collector, theformer Solicitor General of Canada, the Honourable Robert P. Kaplan. He kept the remarkable item until 2010, when he heard about Pointe-à-Callière’s plans to expand and to conduct archaeological digs on the site of the first Parliament of the United Province of Canada. Mr. Kaplan contacted Museum officials and donated these famous Royal arms.
They had remained virtually intact after being rescued from the fire in 1849. The emblem, carved of pine and one metre high, hung above the seat of the Speaker in the Legislative Assembly Chamber.
Displayed in situ by 2020
The coat of arms was carefully packed and sent to the Canadian Conservation Institute, in Ottawa, where it is currently being restored andsubjected to a battery of laboratory tests. It has been repainted a number of times over the years. Once it has been cleaned and stabilized, it is to be displayed in situ by 2020, in its original location since, as part of its expansion plans, the Museum is hoping to present the arms for the general public when it showcases the remains of the Parliament.
Dimensions of the coat of arms: 101 cm (high); 123 cm (wide); 16 cm (deep).