MP-1918.104.22.168-2 | View of Montreal, looking south from Hugh Allan's house, about 1870
View of Montreal, looking south from Hugh Allan's house, about 1870
About 1870, 19th century
Silver salts on paper mounted on card - Albumen process
8.8 x 17.7 cm
Gift of Miss Margaret R. Clarke
© McCord Museum
Here we see the view of Montreal in springtime that Sir Hugh Allan (1810-1882) might have enjoyed from the tower of his sumptuous home, Ravenscrag (1861-1863), located on the mountainside behind the McGill University campus. In the foreground he would have seen the McTavish reservoir and guardhouse. Today the reservoir is covered with a vast lawn. It was built in 1853-1856, then expanded in 1862 and equipped with a steam pump in 1875. In fact, it can be seen that work was in progress when these photos were taken. Past the roofs of the McGill buildings, the city extended all the way to the banks of the St. Lawrence, the beating heart of Montreal. The towers of Notre-Dame and the St. Andrew's Church spire rise above Place d'Armes, to the east, and Victoria Square, to the west.