I-8413 | Harbour from Notre-Dame Church, looking east, Montreal, QC, 1863

Harbour from Notre-Dame Church, looking east, Montreal, QC, 1863
William Notman (1826-1891)
1863, 19th century
Silver salts on glass - Wet collodion process
20 x 25 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  architecture (335) , boat (111) , cityscape (422) , Cityscape (3948) , group (644) , harbour (49) , harbour (624) , Montreal (409) , Notre Dame Church (7) , Photograph (77678) , religious (38) , sail (27) , sidewheeler (6) , St. Helen's Island (2) , transportation (338) , view (1387) , view (243)
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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 Monk, 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: "And we had such a view as I could not easily forget of the whole country round, the variegated town of Montreal looking very well at our feet."

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.

Source: Urban Life through Two Lenses (Consult the See Also box on this page)