The sanctuary is surrounded by a colonnade of 30 large statues of Biblical figures (8 early characters from the Old Testament, 8 prophets and 14 apostles or evangelists) and 52 smaller statues of angels and saints.
This monumental ensemble was the work of Philippe Hébert and his associates between 1879 and 1887. Hébert was completely unknown when canon Bouillon hired him in 1879. Without a job or prospective employment, he was planning to move to the United States. He later became famous throughout Canada for his monumental bronze sculptures. The Cathedral prides itself on having more than sixty of his wooden sculptures, his greatest sculptural ensemble.