M10810 | View of Victoria Square, looking north, Montreal, about 1867
View of Victoria Square, looking north, Montreal, about 1867
1867, 19th century
Silver salts on paper mounted on card - Albumen process
8.5 x 20 cm
Gift of the Misses Lambe
© McCord Museum
This square, created in 1811 northwest of St. James Street (now Saint-Jacques) on the edge of the city's former fortifications, was originally a hay market and was known as Commissioners' Square. It was in 1860, the year the Victoria Bridge was inaugurated, that the site was turned into a public garden and renamed Victoria Square in honour of the Queen. Notman's photographs show part of the fenced-off area, with a pool, gardens and paths set with benches and lined with as-yet young trees. The view toward Beaver Hall Hill shows three steeples on the horizon, with Mount Royal in the background. Nearer the Square stands the steeple of Zion church (1846), the first Baptist church in Montréal. A bit farther away to the left is the steeple of St. Andrew's (1851). In the distance the pale silhouette of Christ Church Cathedral can be seen, on St Catherine Street.