View of Montreal from Notre-Dame Church

Left:Harbour from Notre Dame Church. Montreal, QC. about 1863

Right:View from Notre Dam Church. Looking East. Montreal, QC. After Notman (I-8413) Taken July 14th 2000 at 3:30 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 14th , 2000, 3:30 p.m.

Notman clearly took his photo from the west tower of Notre Dame Church. Beyond that, precise positioning was a challenge because some objects are very close to the camera and others far away. Even a minor shift to the right or left could radically change the view. I began with a position that seemed obvious to me as a photographer, and then gradually lined up my view with the original using a series of Polaroid tests. The final vantage point was very close to the wall, and this made me wonder. Notman must have been very particular about the view he sought, to choose such an awkward position.
Date/Time: July 14th , 2000, 3:30 p.m.

Notman clearly took his photo from the west tower of Notre Dame Church. Beyond that, precise positioning was a challenge because some objects are very close to the camera and others far away. Even a minor shift to the right or left could radically change the view. I began with a position that seemed obvious to me as a photographer, and then gradually lined up my view with the original using a series of Polaroid tests. The final vantage point was very close to the wall, and this made me wonder. Notman must have been very particular about the view he sought, to choose such an awkward position.

© 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.


In the last century, there were two places that gave Montrealers and visitors a magnificent panoramic view of the city and its surroundings: the top of Notre Dame Church and the heights of Mount Royal. In 1863, Frances Monck, a young British visitor, spent several days in Montreal and made the mandatory pilgrimage to the mountain. She would write to her family in Ireland: « Et nous avions une vue magnifique et inoubliable de la campagne environnante, la ville bigarrée de Montrealers ayant fière allure à nos pieds. » [trad.]

This photograph by William Notman shows a more detailed image of the heart of the city during this period : the Bonsecours Church and Market, the convent, the chapel and gardens of the Congregation in the foreground in the shadow of Notre Dame, the tall ships on the river and, everywhere, the roofs shining in the sun. The photographer’s perspective accentuates the picturesque charm of the city and its port. But the Montreal captured by Notman, and visited by Frances Monk, was then going through dramatic changes.
In the last century, there were two places that gave Montrealers and visitors a magnificent panoramic view of the city and its surroundings: the top of Notre Dame Church and the heights of Mount Royal. In 1863, Frances Monck, a young British visitor, spent several days in Montreal and made the mandatory pilgrimage to the mountain. She would write to her family in Ireland: « Et nous avions une vue magnifique et inoubliable de la campagne environnante, la ville bigarrée de Montrealers ayant fière allure à nos pieds. » [trad.]

This photograph by William Notman shows a more detailed image of the heart of the city during this period : the Bonsecours Church and Market, the convent, the chapel and gardens of the Congregation in the foreground in the shadow of Notre Dame, the tall ships on the river and, everywhere, the roofs shining in the sun. The photographer’s perspective accentuates the picturesque charm of the city and its port. But the Montreal captured by Notman, and visited by Frances Monk, was then going through dramatic changes.
Printed Documents
  • Lahaise, Robert. 1980. Les édifices conventuels du Vieux Montréal : Aspects ethno-historiques. La Salle (Que.) : Hurtubise HMH.
  • Robert, Jean-Claude. 1992. Atlas historique de Montréal. Montreal : Art global/Libre Expression.
  • Sandham, Alfred. 1876. Picturesque Montreal, or, The Tourist's Souvenir of a Visit to the Commercial Metropolis of the Dominion of Canada. Montreal: Witness Printing House.
On-Line Document

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

There’s something for everyone downtown…
because there are numerous stores in this rapidly growing sector. A young woman wanting to buy a new hat will undoubtedly find something suitable in Henderson’s, a store specializing in hats and furs. And if it’s a crinoline she wants, she can go over to John Murphy’s or Henry Morgan’s. The area also has a number of wharehouse outlets, such as Recollet House or C.E. Pariseau, which specializes in furniture. Some of these establishments have already acquired quite a reputation. This is the case, for example, with the tailor, Gibb and Co., which has exisited since the 18th century.
There’s something for everyone downtown…
because there are numerous stores in this rapidly growing sector. A young woman wanting to buy a new hat will undoubtedly find something suitable in Henderson’s, a store specializing in hats and furs. And if it’s a crinoline she wants, she can go over to John Murphy’s or Henry Morgan’s. The area also has a number of wharehouse outlets, such as Recollet House or C.E. Pariseau, which specializes in furniture. Some of these establishments have already acquired quite a reputation. This is the case, for example, with the tailor, Gibb and Co., which has exisited since the 18th century.

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

Hoop Skirt

This crinoline cage is made of 20 metal rings graduated in size suspended from the waistband by tape ; it is designed to give a fashionable shape to the skirt.

McCord Museum of Canadian History
c. 1867
M18825
© McCord Museum of Canadian History


The cage-crinoline was developed in France and patented in 1856.

Until this invention, the very full skirts of mid-19th century dresses were supported by three or four petticoats usually stiffened with horsehair. The cage-crinoline freed women from the weight of petticoats, but soon skirts became so wide that the wearer had trouble going through doors. Even to sit down required care, so the crinoline stayed in place and did not move up to reveal a lady's legs and undergarments.
Crinolines were manufactured commercially and were inexpensive to purchase.
The cage-crinoline was developed in France and patented in 1856.

Until this invention, the very full skirts of mid-19th century dresses were supported by three or four petticoats usually stiffened with horsehair. The cage-crinoline freed women from the weight of petticoats, but soon skirts became so wide that the wearer had trouble going through doors. Even to sit down required care, so the crinoline stayed in place and did not move up to reveal a lady's legs and undergarments.
Crinolines were manufactured commercially and were inexpensive to purchase.

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

Hatbox

The hatbox carries the coat of arms and name of the manufacturer who made the hat: John Henderson Company.

John Henderson & Co.
McCord Museum of Canadian History
c. 1875-1900
17 x 79 cm
M985X.185.1.1-2
© McCord Museum of Canadian History


In Montreal in the 19th century, one of the most renowned hat and fur shops was the John Henderson Company.

Like other specialized shops during that period, this store sold luxury goods, which complemented the merchandise sold in the department stores. Due to competition, merchants had to rely on their distinctiveness and on the quality of their service to attract and retain customers. They also made great efforts to create tasteful displays in their stores and in the windows where they presented their products.

It was a great advantage, however, for shops that wanted to remain competitive to be located in a strategic area, near their competition. That is why many businesses, including the John Henderson Company, left Notre Dame and St. Jacques Streets at the end of the 19th century to set up shop on St. Catherine Street, which had become THE new commercial artery in Montreal.
In Montreal in the 19th century, one of the most renowned hat and fur shops was the John Henderson Company.

Like other specialized shops during that period, this store sold luxury goods, which complemented the merchandise sold in the department stores. Due to competition, merchants had to rely on their distinctiveness and on the quality of their service to attract and retain customers. They also made great efforts to create tasteful displays in their stores and in the windows where they presented their products.

It was a great advantage, however, for shops that wanted to remain competitive to be located in a strategic area, near their competition. That is why many businesses, including the John Henderson Company, left Notre Dame and St. Jacques Streets at the end of the 19th century to set up shop on St. Catherine Street, which had become THE new commercial artery in Montreal.

© 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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