M979.87.5041 | The Recollet House of the Present Day

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The Recollet House of the Present Day
1872, 19th century
Ink on paper - Photolithography
27.5 x 40 cm
Gift of Charles deVolpi
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Architecture (8646) , commercial (1771) , Print (10661)
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Keys to History

Still standing on the corner of Notre-Dame and St. Hélène streets, the Recollet House was built on the site of the former Church of the Récollets, erected in 1693 .

After the Récollets, a reformed branch of the Franciscan family , were forced to leave Montreal in 1760, the church became state property . It then served as a place of worship for different congregations before it was sold in 1867 to merchants Lewis, Kay and Co., wholesale importers of dry goods and high-end products, and was demolished . In the early 1870s the new Recollet House was built on this site in the style of an Italian Palazzo fitting the face of the changing sector into a commercial district. .

This engraving shows the new commercial building belonging to the company of Brown and Claggett. From the 1850s to the 1870s, Notre-Dame street became the place to shop as wholesalers and producers built warehouse-stores with showrooms destined to entice shoppers .

  • What

    This wood engraving shows the Brown and Claggett company, who were importers and wholesale retail dealers in "British, foreign and American fancy staple dry goods".

  • Where

    The Recollet House stands on the southeast corner of Notre-Dame Street at St. Hélène streets, in Old Montreal.

  • When

    In the late 19th century, the term"palace" was often used to describe an elaborate store building, like this one .

  • Who

    Shopping "palaces", like the store seen in this illustration, created an atmosphere which turned shopping into a social activity to be enjoyed in attractive surroundings .