M992.110.69 | Sign

1920-1930, 20th century
Wood; glass; metal; Assembled
28.5 x 72 cm
Gift of the Estate of M. Omer Lavallée
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Sign (3)
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Keys to History

This box was placed in the front of the streetcar to indicate the route.

In the beginning, in 1861, the Montreal streetcar network had about 10 km of track and ran from Harbour Street to McGill Street. At the time, uneven ground constituted major obstacles since the streetcars were pulled by horses. In the winter, going uphill was so difficult that two extra horses had to be hitched on to climb up to Mount Royal Avenue.

Electrification facilitated streetcar traffic, which, by that time, served the whole island. In downtown Montreal, the number of tramlines increased quickly, and, in 1893, several transportation companies served the suburbs on the island of Montreal.

  • What

    The crank was used to role the canvas on which the names of the different routes was printed.

  • Where

    A map of the Montreal Tramways Co. dating from 1929 shows that line "96. Van Horne" went from the corner of Côtes-des-Neiges and Van Horne Streets to "terminus 2 Mile End," at the intersection of St. Lawrence Boulevard.

  • When

    The streetcar "96. Van Horne" was established in 1905.

  • Who

    The tramway had a great influence on urbanization. It permitted Montreal workers to live in the suburbs, some distance from their place of work.