View of Montreal from Mount Royal

Left:View of Montreal from Mount Royal, montreal, QC. 1911 (?)

Right:Montreal, QC. Looking south from Mount Royal. After Notman (VIEW-4886) Taken on March 13th 2000 at 2:15 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: March 13, 2000, 2:15 p.m.

Many buildings provided me with reference points for this photograph, as well as the mountain on the horizon. A shadow on a building on McTavish Avenue told me the time. I knew it well, since the same shadow had made an appearance in another photograph. For this particular view from Mount Royal, of which there are several in the Notman series, I had to limit myself to a winter shot, otherwise the city would be obscured by new trees. In the end, I like the trees' appearance in the shot. It's as though the photographer left his camera in place and the trees - and the city - grew up around it.
Date/Time: March 13, 2000, 2:15 p.m.

Many buildings provided me with reference points for this photograph, as well as the mountain on the horizon. A shadow on a building on McTavish Avenue told me the time. I knew it well, since the same shadow had made an appearance in another photograph. For this particular view from Mount Royal, of which there are several in the Notman series, I had to limit myself to a winter shot, otherwise the city would be obscured by new trees. In the end, I like the trees' appearance in the shot. It's as though the photographer left his camera in place and the trees - and the city - grew up around it.

© 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.


Visitors have always discovered Montreal from the summit of Mount Royal. This panoramic photo, produced by the Notman Studio in 1911, takes us back in time to observe the city on the eve of the First World War. The contrast with the Victorian Montreal of 1863 is striking.

The panorama can no longer take in the whole city. Montreal is overflowing its boundaries on all sides. New neighbourhoods and new suburbs had appeared, along the river, but also north of the mountain. The explosion of industrialization and transportation had also radically transformed the city. The smokestacks of factories and grain elevators in the port overshadowed the church spires. Railway facilities, stations and shops, wiped out whole sectors of the suburbs and the surrounding countryside. The skyscrapers of St. James and McGill streets asserted Montreal's financial vocation, while a new commercial and cultural downtown was taking shape in the St. Catherine corridor.

Significant changes in the urban structure and architecture expressed the economic and cultural vitality of Montreal. Sharp contrasts in the urban landscape also revealed the social inequalities that characterized the C Read More
Visitors have always discovered Montreal from the summit of Mount Royal. This panoramic photo, produced by the Notman Studio in 1911, takes us back in time to observe the city on the eve of the First World War. The contrast with the Victorian Montreal of 1863 is striking.

The panorama can no longer take in the whole city. Montreal is overflowing its boundaries on all sides. New neighbourhoods and new suburbs had appeared, along the river, but also north of the mountain. The explosion of industrialization and transportation had also radically transformed the city. The smokestacks of factories and grain elevators in the port overshadowed the church spires. Railway facilities, stations and shops, wiped out whole sectors of the suburbs and the surrounding countryside. The skyscrapers of St. James and McGill streets asserted Montreal's financial vocation, while a new commercial and cultural downtown was taking shape in the St. Catherine corridor.

Significant changes in the urban structure and architecture expressed the economic and cultural vitality of Montreal. Sharp contrasts in the urban landscape also revealed the social inequalities that characterized the Canadian metropolis in the Edwardian era.

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

Water water everywhere!

A reservoir at the foot of Mount Royal has been supplying the city for some time now. Originally, the aqueduct system was private and fairly small. Some people had to get their water directly from the river, or from wells and community pumps-even when fires broke out. Once the system became public, a growing number of houses had running water, and it was possible to install indoor toilets. However, until an effective water filtration and purification system was put in place in the first decade of the 20th century, the quality of the water drunk by Montrealers left much to be desired.
Water water everywhere!

A reservoir at the foot of Mount Royal has been supplying the city for some time now. Originally, the aqueduct system was private and fairly small. Some people had to get their water directly from the river, or from wells and community pumps-even when fires broke out. Once the system became public, a growing number of houses had running water, and it was possible to install indoor toilets. However, until an effective water filtration and purification system was put in place in the first decade of the 20th century, the quality of the water drunk by Montrealers left much to be desired.

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

Water pump

This pump is made of cast iron, a material that quite quickly replaced lead in water distribution equipment. Unlike lead, cast iron did not affect the quality of the water.

McCord Museum of Canadian History - Gift of Mme R. V. Pager
c. 1850-1900
107 cm
M999.31.1
© McCord Museum of Canadian History


At the beginning of the 19th century, very few houses had running water. As a general rule, families had two choices: go fetch water from the river, from a well, at the common pump or tap - a chore at most often fell to the women - or get their supply from a water carrier.

Indoor plumbing gradually made its appearance during the second half of the 19th century, after the construction of a water supply system. This advance permitted the richest people to have running water, and working-class families to have access to common pumps and taps. In spite of these advances, supplying water was still a big chore since you had to pump the water before transporting it home. What is more, this chore had to be repeated several times a day, since water was essential to performing many household tasks.
At the beginning of the 19th century, very few houses had running water. As a general rule, families had two choices: go fetch water from the river, from a well, at the common pump or tap - a chore at most often fell to the women - or get their supply from a water carrier.

Indoor plumbing gradually made its appearance during the second half of the 19th century, after the construction of a water supply system. This advance permitted the richest people to have running water, and working-class families to have access to common pumps and taps. In spite of these advances, supplying water was still a big chore since you had to pump the water before transporting it home. What is more, this chore had to be repeated several times a day, since water was essential to performing many household tasks.

© McCord Museum of Canadian History

Water

The illustration shows the various organic and inorganic substances observed in Montreal's water in 1870 by members of the Montreal Microscope Club.

McCord Museum of Canadian History - Gift of Mrs. G. M. Butler

Ink on newsprint - Photolithography
22.9 x 22.9 cm
M994.104.1.3.161
© McCord Museum of Canadian History


In Montreal, the quality of water was always suspect at the end of the 19th century. The only means of water purification provided by the municipal water supply system consisted of letting the water settle in huge reservoirs. More effective under such conditions, filtration removed heavy, coarse substances from the water and eliminated germs and microbes.

The early work by Pasteur on bacteria, in the 1870s, let to the conclusion that infectious illnesses and epidemics were not caused by fumes from cesspools and sewers, but rather from contaminated water. These discoveries demonstrated the importance of purifying water intended for human consumption.
In Montreal, the quality of water was always suspect at the end of the 19th century. The only means of water purification provided by the municipal water supply system consisted of letting the water settle in huge reservoirs. More effective under such conditions, filtration removed heavy, coarse substances from the water and eliminated germs and microbes.

The early work by Pasteur on bacteria, in the 1870s, let to the conclusion that infectious illnesses and epidemics were not caused by fumes from cesspools and sewers, but rather from contaminated water. These discoveries demonstrated the importance of purifying water intended for human consumption.

© McCord Museum of Canadian History

Montreal Fire Department

This silent film shows the firefighters of one squad of the Montreal Fire Department in 1901. The production shows both the firefighters' equipment of the period and the energy required to perform their tasks. The film was produced for a series of films intended to promote vaudeville theatre in Montreal.

Edison Manufacturing co., USA (production)
Library of Congress (Washington) (Archives)
c. 1901
© Library of Congress (Washington) (Archives)


In 1852 there was a terrible fire that laid waste to almost half of Montreal. This tragic event forced the city to carry out a complete review of its firefighting methods.

The Montreal Fire Department was created in 1863. At that time, the municipality hired its first full-time firefighters and authorized the construction of the first fire station. Over the years, this service constantly improved its facilities and equipment. In 1871, Montreal bought its first steam pump; in 1884, the city installed telephones in its fire stations.
In 1852 there was a terrible fire that laid waste to almost half of Montreal. This tragic event forced the city to carry out a complete review of its firefighting methods.

The Montreal Fire Department was created in 1863. At that time, the municipality hired its first full-time firefighters and authorized the construction of the first fire station. Over the years, this service constantly improved its facilities and equipment. In 1871, Montreal bought its first steam pump; in 1884, the city installed telephones in its fire stations.

© 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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