VIEW-13480 | Billiards room, Y. M. C. A., Westmount, QC, 1913-14

Billiards room, Y. M. C. A., Westmount, QC, 1913-14
Wm. Notman & Son
1913-1914, 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
20 x 25 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Architecture (8646) , building (531) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

Although their main goals were religious and moral, churches were nonetheless important catalysts in expanding people's access to sports and in democratizing leisure activities. Thus, rather than opposing the growing interest in sports, they began setting up, either on their own or in conjunction with philanthropic organizations, recreation services that were often free and thus open to everyone. This was an important step, considering that at the end of the 19th century, most sports facilities belonged either to businesses or private clubs, which meant that only people of means could use them. The number of free, public recreation facilities saw a significant rise only in the early 20th century.

  • What

    Billiards grew rapidly in popularity, and the YMCA provided members with opportunities to play the game.

  • Where

    This large billiard room was located at the Westmount branch of the Young Men's Christian Association, a philanthropic organization very involved in physical education.

  • When

    The YMCA movement began in England in the 1840s and spread across Canada in the 1850s and 1860s.

  • Who

    Although the YMCA was open to all young men, its members were drawn largely from the middle class.