MP-0000.1452.22 | Windsor Hotel on Dominion Square, Montreal, QC, about 1878

Windsor Hotel on Dominion Square, Montreal, QC, about 1878
Alexander Henderson
about 1878, 19th century
Silver salts on paper mounted on card - Albumen process
16 x 21 cm
Gift of Miss E. Dorothy Benson
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Architecture (8646) , commercial (1771) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

At the end of the 19th century, buildings made of steel, concrete and glass are considered to be not only extremely strong but also very fashionable. The tower built in Paris for the International Exhibition of 1889 by French engineer Gustave Eiffel is by far the most famous example of this.

In Montreal, the Crystal Palace of 1860, modeled on the one in London erected for the International Exhibition of 1851, shows that Canadian architects are as interested in the new construction materials as are their European counterparts. 1860 is also the year in which Montreal hosts a large agricultural and technology exhibition, attended by His Royal Majesty the Prince of Wales as well as many other foreign dignitaries.

More and more visitors are coming to Canada and its cities. There is a need for hotels to accommodate them, and several are constructed using the new steel and reinforced concrete.

Source : Brand New and Wonderful: The Rise of Technology [Web tour], by Jacques G. Ruelland, Université de Montréal (see Links)

  • What

    The Windsor Hotel, one of Montreal's most prestigious hotels, is constructed of steel and concrete. It reveals that the new construction materials can be used to create buildings of great beauty.

  • Where

    The Windsor Hotel, located at 1170 Peel Street, faces Dominion Square, another landmark of Montreal.

  • When

    Reinforced concrete is patented by Joseph Monier of France in 1867.

  • Who

    The Windsor Hotel receives many distinguished visitors: Sir Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Her Royal Highness, then Princess Elizabeth, Prince Phillip, as well as the actress Sarah Bernhardt.