MP-1989.15.44 | Flood on Chaboillez Square, Montreal, QC, 1888

 
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Photograph
Flood on Chaboillez Square, Montreal, QC, 1888
George Charles Arless
1888, 19th century
Silver salts on paper mounted on paper - Albumen process ?
20 x 25 cm
Gift of Mrs. Isherwood
MP-1989.15.44
© McCord Museum
Description
Keywords:  architecture (335) , boat (111) , Chaboillez Square (3) , cityscape (422) , commercial (84) , crowd (32) , disaster (45) , figure (1849) , flood (18) , group (644) , History (944) , history (162) , McGill Street (8) , Montreal (409) , Photograph (77678) , St. Paul Street (3) , streetscape (187) , transportation (338)
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Keys to History

Chaboillez Square is adjacent to Notre-Dame Street, one of Montreal's most important commercial arteries in the second half of the nineteenth century.

Throughout this period Montreal was teeming with small retail businesses and corner stores. Department stores also made their first appearance. This swift rise in retail activity was at first the result of an increase in the population of Montreal, a change that greatly increased the consumer base. It was also during this period that merchants benefited from improvements in transportation allowing them to move merchandise faster than ever before.

Nonetheless, as this photograph illustrates, there was a considerable problem with flooding. Almost every spring when the river thawed the lowest parts of the city were inundated. The problem continued until the beginning of the twentieth century, when major work on the port and the Saint Lawrence Seaway was carried out.