MP-0000.867.5 | St. James Street, looking East, Montreal, QC, about 1910
St. James Street, looking East, Montreal, QC, about 1910
Anonyme - Anonymous
About 1910, 20th century
Ink on paper mounted on card - Halftone
26 x 19 cm
Gift of Mr. Stanley G. Triggs
© McCord Museum
Keywords: Cityscape (3948) , Print (10661) , streetscape (1737) , view (1387)
Keys to History
Economic growth brought about some major changes in the city's urban space. Office towers sprang up in the downtown area to accommodate the headquarters of large companies. St. James Street became the financial centre of Canada.
The Lachine Canal industrial area spread westward, the Ste. Marie-Hochelaga area expanded into Maisonneuve and east toward Longue Pointe, while the clothing industry began to extend northward on either side of St. Lawrence Boulevard.
One of the oldest streets in Old Montreal, it was St. James Street to English-speaking Montrealers and "rue Saint-Jacques" to French speakers. In the early 1900s, the banks and many other financial institutions had their head offices or major branch offices on this street.
The second building on the left was the main Montreal branch of the Canadian Bank of Commerce, which had its headquarters in Toronto. With its huge columns, it is very representative of bank architecture of the period, which strove to give an impression of solidity.
The Canadian Bank of Commerce building was erected between 1907 and 1909. Some 50 years later the bank (now the CIBC) moved its main Montreal office to a building in the new downtown, at the corner of Dorchester Boulevard (now René Lévesque Boulevard) and Peel Street.
The thousands of employees (in 1910 they were primarily men) who worked in the downtown office buildings travelled to work by streetcar. The four streetcars that can be seen in this picture indicate how important this means of transport was.