MP-0000.587.103 | Bowling alley, Montreal, QC, about 1925

Bowling alley, Montreal, QC, about 1925
Anonyme - Anonymous
About 1925, 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
20 x 25 cm
Purchase from Mr. Fritz Arnold
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Architecture (8646) , commercial (1771) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

Twentieth-century leisure activities differed from those that came before mainly because they provided possibilities for people of different backgrounds and sexes to mingle informally. Among the most popular new meeting spots were cafés, gambling houses, bars and bowling alleys. Here, men and women could meet and participate on a more equal footing. Such meetings, outside of work, the family and the old strictures on leisure, provided men and women opportunities to experiment with new and freer social relationships. In short, they could now enjoy more spontaneity in their social lives.

  • What

    Ten-pin bowling arrived in Canada from the United States after it was introduced there in the 19th century. The five-pin variation of the game was developed in Canada by Thomas F. Ryan in 1908 or 1909.

  • Where

    Because they required little equipment and thus a low initial investment, bowling alleys sprang up in large and small cities across the country.

  • When

    The Toronto businessmen and sports promoter Thomas F. Ryan (1872-1961) opened Canada's first 10-pin bowling alley in Toronto at the end of the 19th century.

  • Who

    Bowling was at this time extremely popular among young men and women.