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

By Joanne Burgess and Gilles Lauzon
McCord Museum of Canadian History

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

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