MP-1978.29.8 | Montreal Hunt Club at Mile End Road, Montreal, QC, 1859

Montreal Hunt Club at Mile End Road, Montreal, QC, 1859
1859, 19th century
Silver salts on paper mounted on card - Albumen process
27.9 x 35.6 cm
Purchase from Montreal Book Auction
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  architecture (335) , building (34) , cityscape (422) , deLormier (1) , fox hunting (6) , hut (1) , leisure (134) , Mile End Road (1) , Montreal (409) , Montreal Hunt Club (5) , Mount Royal Avenue (1) , Occupation (1110) , Photograph (77678) , sports (154) , streetscape (187) , summer (64)
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Keys to History

Tell me what you play, how you spend your free time and with whom, and I'll tell you who you are! Everything - attire, behaviour, subjects of conversation, playing style - helped to enhance the prestige of elitist pursuits. In most associations, the social aspect of sports outweighed recreational or competitive considerations. At the same time, sports were an opportunity to display and promote the elite's cherished values. Consequently, to become a member of a select institution like the Montreal Hunt Club, founded in 1826, it was less important to be young and agile than to have lofty social status. Once admitted to that or other clubs, people generally became members for life.

Cyndy Aron, A History of Vacations in the United States (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 7

Alan Metcalfe, "The Evolution of Organized Physical Leisure in Montreal, 1840-1895", Social History/ Histoire sociale, vol. XI, no. 21 (May 1978), p. 146.

  • What

    Hunting with hounds was an ideal way to perpetuate aristocratic traditions and promote British masculinity and refinement in North America.

  • Where

    Hunting was still possible just outside colonial city limits in the mid-19th century.

  • When

    In the 1850s, hunting and fishing became popular as antidotes to the stress of a rapidly industrializing and urbanizing society.

  • Who

    Members of the exclusively male and very select Montreal Hunt Club with their purebred mounts and well-trained dogs, ready to ride to the hunt on a late fall day.