MP-0000.1452.59 | St. Lambert's Road, Montreal, QC, about 1870

St. Lambert's Road, Montreal, QC, about 1870
Alexander Henderson
about 1870, 19th century
Silver salts on paper mounted on card - Albumen process
16 x 21 cm
Gift of Miss E. Dorothy Benson
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Cityscape (3948) , Figure (1339) , Figure (1339) , Photograph (77678) , river (1486) , Sleigh (315) , Waterscape (2986)
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Keys to History

Before the arrival of the railroad, the Island of Montreal depended on its watercourses for supplies. The fact that it was on an island only aggravated the city's transportation problems, which worsened each winter as the river froze over. Then shipping was brought to a halt and economic activity slowed to a trickle. This situation was, however, beneficial to local traffic, which used the frozen surface of the river as a road.

The Victoria Bridge, a railway bridge spanning the Saint Lawrence River, was opened in Montreal in 1860. Although trains proved to be the most efficient and flexible means of transportation after this date, the "ice bridges" over the Saint Lawrence River continued to be used, as this photograph attests.