VIEW-16187 | Public bath and gymnasium, Morgan Boulevard, Montreal, QC, 1916

Public bath and gymnasium, Morgan Boulevard, 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.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Architecture (8646) , civic (349) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

The movement promoting greater accessibility to leisure activities changed forever the landscape of Canadian cities and vastly improved the quality of urban life. The rapid growth of cities after the middle of the 19th century was accompanied by the disappearance of the open spaces once used for pleasure and recreational activities and the construction of noisy and polluting factories as well as crowded residential areas. The reformers who lobbied for improved living conditions may have somewhat exaggerated the filth and misery in the cities of the era to further their demands, but the images that have come down to us from the period do confirm a harsh reality. Certainly, the public gardens, parks, playgrounds, pools, museums and libraries created then made cities a lot more pleasant; they also ensured that people of all backgrounds could take part in leisure activities.

  • What

    This building, one of the most elegant in Montreal at the time, housed the municipal office of public baths. It is a fine example of how municipal authorities could beautify their city.

  • Where

    This magnificent public building was originally located in the city of Maisonneuve, now in Montreal's east end.

  • When

    The building was constructed between 1914 and 1916, near the end of the City Beautiful movement, dedicated to making cities more attractive. This building is in the Beaux-Arts style, very much in vogue at the time, in particular, for government buildings.

  • Who

    The building was designed by architect Marius Dufresne, who created a number of other impressive public buildings in Maisonneuve.