Montreal Harbour

Left:Montreal Harbour from Beausecours Church, QC, about 1900

Right: Montreal Harbour looking West from the Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours. After Notman (VIEW 3212.1). Taken on July 22, 1999 at 10:28 p.m.

Photographers: Left: William Notman, Right: Andrzej Maciejewski
McCord Museum of Canadian History

© 2002, McCord Museum of Canadian History. All Rights Reserved.


Date/Time: July 22, 1999, 10:28 p.m

Pictured here is Montreal harbour in the summertime, from the balcony of the South tower of Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours Chapel. It was easy to find the right vantage point, as I had many points of reference. While waiting for the sun to reach the same angle as in Notman's photograph I reflected on how the harbour has changed. It remains a busy place, but mostly with tourists, and there are no longer any steam ships in port. The train tracks have been moved and there are more trees. These transformations give my photograph a completely different mood.
Date/Time: July 22, 1999, 10:28 p.m

Pictured here is Montreal harbour in the summertime, from the balcony of the South tower of Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours Chapel. It was easy to find the right vantage point, as I had many points of reference. While waiting for the sun to reach the same angle as in Notman's photograph I reflected on how the harbour has changed. It remains a busy place, but mostly with tourists, and there are no longer any steam ships in port. The train tracks have been moved and there are more trees. These transformations give my photograph a completely different mood.

© 2002, McCord Museum of Canadian History. All Rights Reserved.

Map

This Map of Montreal depicts the location where the photographs by Notman and Maciejewski were taken.

McCord Museum of Canadian History

© 2002, McCord Museum of Canadian History. All Rights Reserved.


From the top of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Church, visitors could admire the port of Montreal and observe the central role it occupied in the city and in Canada as a whole. Here, at the beginning of the 20th century, everything converged there.

Along the wharfs, steamships unloaded their cargoes and took on goods from across Canada. Montreal was at the hub of the transcontinental railways: the Grand Trunk and the Canadian Pacific built huge grain silos here to store the harvests, and the hopes, of the farmers of the West. And the train, which could penetrate the heart of the port, link Canada's primary port with all its hinterlands. The proximity of the port and the density of the rail network contributed to the industrial development of the Lachine Canal area, whose smokestacks and smoke dominated the horizon towards the west. Around Bonsecours Market, farmers and small vendors jostled for space to display their products and attract the attention of citizens looking for bargains.
From the top of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Church, visitors could admire the port of Montreal and observe the central role it occupied in the city and in Canada as a whole. Here, at the beginning of the 20th century, everything converged there.

Along the wharfs, steamships unloaded their cargoes and took on goods from across Canada. Montreal was at the hub of the transcontinental railways: the Grand Trunk and the Canadian Pacific built huge grain silos here to store the harvests, and the hopes, of the farmers of the West. And the train, which could penetrate the heart of the port, link Canada's primary port with all its hinterlands. The proximity of the port and the density of the rail network contributed to the industrial development of the Lachine Canal area, whose smokestacks and smoke dominated the horizon towards the west. Around Bonsecours Market, farmers and small vendors jostled for space to display their products and attract the attention of citizens looking for bargains.

© 2002, McCord Museum of Canadian History. All Rights Reserved.

Bonsecours Market

The turmoil of port activity was evidence of the economic weight of the Canadian metropolis at the beginning of the 20th century, when Montreal was one of the most important ports in the Americas and the hub of the trade and transportation networks in Canada.

Anonymous
McCord Museum of Canadian History - Gift of Mr. Stanley G. Triggs
c. 1895
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
8 x 8 cm
MP-0000.25.198-D1
© McCord Museum of Canadian History


C.P.R. elevators

At the east end of the port, Canadian Pacific developed a huge railway complex made up of the brand-new Viger hotel and station, along with its warehouses and shipping offices, its dozens of rail lines and, on the waterfront, its huge grain silos.

Anonymous
McCord Museum of Canadian History - Gift of Mr. John L. Russel
c. 1909
Silver salts on paper mounted on paper - Gelatin silver process
20 x 25 cm
MP-1979.155.140
© McCord Museum


Montreal from Street Railway Power House Chimney

Manufacturing activity in the city gave birth to what is called an industrial landscape. Companies tended to set up their factories close to the port or to railway tracks. The Grand Trunk Railway workshops, factories producing machinery and other iron and steel products, spinning mills and the Redpath sugar refinery were all located here; their employees lived nearby.

Wm. Notman & Son
McCord Museum of Canadian History - Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
c. 1896
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
20 x 25 cm
VIEW-2944
© McCord Museum


Happy vacationers.

Crowded together on the quays in the port of Montreal, people wait to board the steamboat that will take them up the Saint Lawrence River. Some are going to the regions of Charlevoix and the Lower Saint Lawrence, where they will stay in various vacation spots. They have been careful to pack their bags with everything they need for the many activities that will be offered to them. For, once arrived, they will be faced with practically too many choices: salt-water bathing, angling, golf, picnicking, horse racing, canoeing, lawn bowling, croquet, tennis, amateur photography and visits to Native villages are just some of the activities available to the summer visitors.
Happy vacationers.

Crowded together on the quays in the port of Montreal, people wait to board the steamboat that will take them up the Saint Lawrence River. Some are going to the regions of Charlevoix and the Lower Saint Lawrence, where they will stay in various vacation spots. They have been careful to pack their bags with everything they need for the many activities that will be offered to them. For, once arrived, they will be faced with practically too many choices: salt-water bathing, angling, golf, picnicking, horse racing, canoeing, lawn bowling, croquet, tennis, amateur photography and visits to Native villages are just some of the activities available to the summer visitors.

© 2002, McCord Museum of Canadian History. All Rights Reserved.

Camera

Available from 1895 to 1913, this popular camera sold for about eight dollars (U.S.) when it first went on the market. This was equivalent to the average weekly wage of a Canadian worker in 1901.

McCord Museum of Canadian History - Gift of Mrs. Violet Lefèbvre
c. 1897
11.4 x 11.4 x 15.2 cm
M967.103.3.1-2
© McCord Museum of Canadian History


Until the very late 1880s, photography was essentially the preserve of professionals and the enlightened amateurs and curious few who were not put off by the harmful chemical fumes or the long hours spent in the darkroom. The introduction of Kodak cameras revolutionized photography. Anyone could take pictures without knowing much about technique: "You Press the Button, We Do the Rest," was Kodak’s famous promise. This marked the advent of amateur photography.

George Eastman (1854-1932) built a successful company on the following four principles: mass production at low cost, international distribution, extensive advertising and listening to consumers. The Kodak Company used persuasive sales strategies, for example, encouraging photographers to create an "illustrated history" of their lives. From 1904 to 1911, it even organized contests and travelling exhibits and gave prizes for the best photos taken with its supplies and equipment.
Until the very late 1880s, photography was essentially the preserve of professionals and the enlightened amateurs and curious few who were not put off by the harmful chemical fumes or the long hours spent in the darkroom. The introduction of Kodak cameras revolutionized photography. Anyone could take pictures without knowing much about technique: "You Press the Button, We Do the Rest," was Kodak’s famous promise. This marked the advent of amateur photography.

George Eastman (1854-1932) built a successful company on the following four principles: mass production at low cost, international distribution, extensive advertising and listening to consumers. The Kodak Company used persuasive sales strategies, for example, encouraging photographers to create an "illustrated history" of their lives. From 1904 to 1911, it even organized contests and travelling exhibits and gave prizes for the best photos taken with its supplies and equipment.

© McCord Museum of Canadian History

S.S. Quebec

This representation of the steamer Québec is a bas-relief, a sculptural relief that projects very little from the background image.

Anonymous
McCord Museum of Canadian History - Gift of Mrs. Samuel T. Adams
c. 1928
20 x 89.5 cm
M989.146.1
© McCord Museum of Canadian History


The paddleboat Québec carried passengers between Montreal and Quebec City.

In the 19th century, changes made to ship transportation increased its efficiency. Sailing ships were replaced by steamers, so navigation became less dependent on weather conditions. Steamer technology was also improved and, around 1850, the paddle wheels were replaced by screw propellers.

The Québec was also modified. On its first trip, in the 1860s, the Québec only had one smokestack. A second smokestack was added in 1880. In 1907, it would be completely refitted.
The paddleboat Québec carried passengers between Montreal and Quebec City.

In the 19th century, changes made to ship transportation increased its efficiency. Sailing ships were replaced by steamers, so navigation became less dependent on weather conditions. Steamer technology was also improved and, around 1850, the paddle wheels were replaced by screw propellers.

The Québec was also modified. On its first trip, in the 1860s, the Québec only had one smokestack. A second smokestack was added in 1880. In 1907, it would be completely refitted.

© McCord Museum of Canadian History

Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • Identify the changes that were operated within Canadian society over two decades (territory, population, economy, etc.);
  • Describe in details changes that he/she is able to observe;
  • Explain and speculate about the reasons that could justify these changes;
  • Make connections between the differences and similarities of the two eras.

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