VIEW-16059 | Fireplace, Lord Strathcona's house, Montreal, QC, 1916

 
Photograph
Fireplace, Lord Strathcona's house, Montreal, QC, 1916
Wm. Notman & Son
1916, 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
20 x 25 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
VIEW-16059
© McCord Museum
Description
Keywords:  Architecture (8646) , Photograph (77678) , residential (1255)
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Keys to History

By the beginning of the 20th century Lord Strathcona (Donald Smith) had amassed a fortune. Like Andrew Carnegie, another Scottish boy who rose to earn an even greater fortune in the United States, he lived in considerable splendour. His great mansion on Dorchester Street (now René-Lévesque) in Montreal was a focal point for the social life of the city's wealthier residents. The massive fireplace in the drawing room said more than mere words could do about the power and money of the Scottish-Canadian financial elite. Built in 1887, the house was later demolished in the days before there was much interest in preserving such historic dwellings.

  • What

    Built in 1887 and described in L'Album Universel et le Monde Illustré as a "palatial residence" by Montreal journalists of that era, Lord Strathcona's impressive home dominated Dorchester Street (now René-Lévesque) in Montreal.

  • Where

    Many dignitaries visited and stayed at Lord Strathcona's mansion over the years, notably HRH the Duke of York in 1901 and Governor General Lord Minto in 1902.

  • When

    The house was built in 1887, and the photograph was taken in 1916. During the same session the Notman Studio photographed a number of the mansion's richly decorated rooms.

  • Who

    The mansion belonged to Donald Smith, Lord Strathcona, one of the wealthiest and most influential men in Canada in the early 20th century.