Viger Place

Left:C. P. R. station "Château Viger", Montreal, QC. about 1901

Right:Viger Place, Montreal, QC. After Notman (VIEW-2174) Taken July 19th 2000 at 4:26 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 29, 2000, 4:26 p.m.

This picture was taken from a tower balcony on Mary Queen of the World Cathedral. The vantage point was easy to find but hard to reach, involving a long climb up a narrow, winding staircase. I wondered if Notman was lucky enough to have an assistant to help him with his heavy equipment. I wished for one, especially when I reached the top and realized that I had to go all the way back down to fetch a different lens. And in the end I had to go back and re-shoot this photograph an hour later, because I had failed to compensate for Daylight Savings Time.
Date/Time: July 29, 2000, 4:26 p.m.

This picture was taken from a tower balcony on Mary Queen of the World Cathedral. The vantage point was easy to find but hard to reach, involving a long climb up a narrow, winding staircase. I wondered if Notman was lucky enough to have an assistant to help him with his heavy equipment. I wished for one, especially when I reached the top and realized that I had to go all the way back down to fetch a different lens. And in the end I had to go back and re-shoot this photograph an hour later, because I had failed to compensate for Daylight Savings Time.

© 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.


Here is the Canadian Pacific Viger hotel and station in 1901. Flourishing and in a phase of rapid expansion, Canadian Pacific had just open this new station, which replaced the Dalhousie Station, which had been built on the same location. The new terminus shared with the Windsor Station the main metropolitan railway functions. Viger, however, played a secondary role compared to Windsor. It was a regional station that served the Laurentians and the north shore of the St. Lawrence as far as Quebec City. It was here that country people in search of urban adventures arrived in town. It was also from this station that missionaries, colonists and tourists left for Ste. Agathe, Labelle and Mount Laurier.

Located on the edge of Old Montreal and close to Viger Square, the hotel and station was at a strategic location, in the heart of the Montreal Francophone upper-class neighbourhood. This is no doubt why Canadian Pacific had this prestigious building built there, with its architecture recalling the châteaux of the Loire Valley. The hotel was famous for the elegance of its decor; it would accommodate business meetings and social gatherings.
Here is the Canadian Pacific Viger hotel and station in 1901. Flourishing and in a phase of rapid expansion, Canadian Pacific had just open this new station, which replaced the Dalhousie Station, which had been built on the same location. The new terminus shared with the Windsor Station the main metropolitan railway functions. Viger, however, played a secondary role compared to Windsor. It was a regional station that served the Laurentians and the north shore of the St. Lawrence as far as Quebec City. It was here that country people in search of urban adventures arrived in town. It was also from this station that missionaries, colonists and tourists left for Ste. Agathe, Labelle and Mount Laurier.

Located on the edge of Old Montreal and close to Viger Square, the hotel and station was at a strategic location, in the heart of the Montreal Francophone upper-class neighbourhood. This is no doubt why Canadian Pacific had this prestigious building built there, with its architecture recalling the châteaux of the Loire Valley. The hotel was famous for the elegance of its decor; it would accommodate business meetings and social gatherings.
Printed Documents
  • Gagnon-Pratte, France. 1993. Le Château Frontenac : Cent ans de vie de château. Quebec City : Continuité.
  • Kalman, Harold. 1994. « The Railway and the Opening of the West ». In A History of Canadian Architecture. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
  • Laurin, Serge. 2000. Les Laurentides. Québec : Institut québécois de recherche sur la culture.
  • Roy, Alain. 2001. « Étude historique ». In Patri-Arch : Étude d'ensemble du sous-secteur de l'Ancien Chantier, t. 1. Quebec City: Ville de Québec, Service de développement économique et urbain

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

C.P.R. Station, Sainte Anne des Plaines

Here is the little station in Sainte Anne des Plaines. This peaceful village in Terrebonne County had been served by Canadian Pacific since the founding of the company through a branch line that left the main line towards St. Jérôme, near Ste. Thérèse. Easy access to Montreal by rail no doubt contributed to the great rural exodus movement that marked that municipality.

Anonymous
McCord Museum of Canadian History
c. 1910
Silver salts on paper mounted on card - Gelatin silver process
7 x 12 cm
MP-0000.997.11
© McCord Museum of Canadian History


Hotel Frontenac

The Chateau Frontenac was the first big urban hotel built by Canadian Pacific. Designed by architect Bruce Price and opened to the public in 1893, this picturesque building dominates the Upper Town of Quebec City and overlooks the river. To make first-class customers happy, the interior of the Chateau Frontenac was sumptuously decorated. All the public and private spaces were furnished with antiques and reproductions in order to recall the châteaux of 16th-century France.

Wallis & Shepherd
McCord Museum of Canadian History - Gift of Mr. Stanley G. Triggs
c. 1900
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
6 x 8 cm
© McCord Museum of Canadian History


Making good use of the train.

Vancouver, Quebec City, Ottawa, Boston? Why not! Travellers at the turn of the 20th century have a wide variety of routes to choose from. Blessed with a bourgeoning tourist industry, the railway companies make it a staple of their trade. A number of Native people also benefit from this growth by selling their handcrafted wares to tourists. When you climb aboard a railway car, you have to make sure that you're leaving nothing behind. Prepared for every eventuality, the seasoned traveller is equipped with a full overnight bag or train glasses that protect his eyes from dust and ashes. Because you can never be too careful !

Making good use of the train.

Vancouver, Quebec City, Ottawa, Boston? Why not! Travellers at the turn of the 20th century have a wide variety of routes to choose from. Blessed with a bourgeoning tourist industry, the railway companies make it a staple of their trade. A number of Native people also benefit from this growth by selling their handcrafted wares to tourists. When you climb aboard a railway car, you have to make sure that you're leaving nothing behind. Prepared for every eventuality, the seasoned traveller is equipped with a full overnight bag or train glasses that protect his eyes from dust and ashes. Because you can never be too careful !

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

Train Ticket

The twenty different place names listed on the ticket indicate the departure points and destinations of this Grand Trunk Railway.

McCord Museum of Canadian History
c. 1912
Paper
7 x 13 cm
M2001X.6.41
© McCord Museum of Canadian History


This ticket, with a value of $0.45, entitled its holder to make the Montreal-Ottawa trip on board a train of the Grand Trunk Railway on February 6 of 1911 or 1912.

At the time, snow was no longer a problem for rail transport. Trains had been able to operate in the winter since 1886 thanks to the rotary snowplough invented by Canadian J. W. Elliot.

By the 1850s the main railway company in Canada, the Grand Trunk Railway owned in 1867 the bigger rail network in the world, with 2055 km of railway lines. However, the company was on the verge of bankruptcy in 1919. It would be amalgamated with the Canadian National Railway in 1923.
This ticket, with a value of $0.45, entitled its holder to make the Montreal-Ottawa trip on board a train of the Grand Trunk Railway on February 6 of 1911 or 1912.

At the time, snow was no longer a problem for rail transport. Trains had been able to operate in the winter since 1886 thanks to the rotary snowplough invented by Canadian J. W. Elliot.

By the 1850s the main railway company in Canada, the Grand Trunk Railway owned in 1867 the bigger rail network in the world, with 2055 km of railway lines. However, the company was on the verge of bankruptcy in 1919. It would be amalgamated with the Canadian National Railway in 1923.

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

Railway Glasses

This type of glasses was used to protect the eyes from the dust, ashes and wind that came in through the open windows of trains.

McCord Museum of Canadian History - Gift of St. Peter's Church
c. 1880-1900
2.3 x 10.5 cm
M981.49.3.1
© McCord Museum of Canadian History


Not very developed until then, the eyewear industry expanded rapidly during the second half of the 19th century.

The spectacles of the 1860s were small and elliptical, and the frames were sometimes of steel or silver. The style, sizes and materials became more diversified starting in the 1890s.

These train spectacles had little screens on the sides to protect the eyes not only from insects, dust and wind gusts, but also from the ashes from the locomotive which came into the coaches through the open windows. The glasses are tinted green, a very common colour for glasses in the 19th century, along with blue. During this period, some experts strongly recommended this type of coloured lenses, while others claimed that they were harmful to eyesight.
Not very developed until then, the eyewear industry expanded rapidly during the second half of the 19th century.

The spectacles of the 1860s were small and elliptical, and the frames were sometimes of steel or silver. The style, sizes and materials became more diversified starting in the 1890s.

These train spectacles had little screens on the sides to protect the eyes not only from insects, dust and wind gusts, but also from the ashes from the locomotive which came into the coaches through the open windows. The glasses are tinted green, a very common colour for glasses in the 19th century, along with blue. During this period, some experts strongly recommended this type of coloured lenses, while others claimed that they were harmful to eyesight.

© 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.

Teachers' Centre Home Page | Find Learning Resources & Lesson Plans