M300 | Saint-James Street, Montreal

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Saint-James Street, Montreal
Robert Auchmuty Sproule (1799-1845)
1830, 19th century
Watercolour, graphite and ink on paper mounted on board
24.1 x 35.3 cm
Gift of Mr. David Ross McCord
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Cityscape (3948) , Painting (2229) , painting (2227) , streetscape (1737)
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This view, looking north-east on St. James Street, was executed during the winter of 1830. At this period, the season's snow, rather than being removed from the middle of the streets, was generally packed down to facilitate the use of sleighs as a means of transportation. However, where the sidewalks were shovelled - as here, in the left foreground - large banks of snow flanked the streets all through the winter. The large dressed stone building on the right is the Bank of Montreal, completed in 1819. The structure is no longer standing today. On the facade, above the ground floor windows, can be seen four relief panels. These panels, made of Coade's artificial stone, were purchased in England and represented "Commerce", "Agriculture", "Navigation", and "Arts & Manufacture". Next to the bank, at the corner of St. James and St. François-Xavier Streets, is the Wesleyan Chapel, which was constructed in 1821. This structure was described by Newton Bosworth in the following terms : " It is of cut stone, and the architecture is of the Grecian Doric order, with a portico corresponding. It is galleried all round, and has a fine organ. The basement story is spacious, and is appropriated to the Sunday School. It is justly considered as one of the most beautiful edifices of the kind in the city." (Excerpt from: GRAHAM, Conrad. Mont-Royal - Ville Marie : Early Plans and Views of Montreal, McCord Museum of Canadian History, p.78.)