VIEW-16835 | Henry Morgan's store, St. Catherine Street, Montreal, QC, 1917

Henry Morgan's store, St. Catherine Street, Montreal, QC, 1917
Wm. Notman & Son
1917, 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) , Cityscape (3948) , commercial (1771) , Photograph (77678) , streetscape (1737)
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Keys to History

This luxurious building was erected in 1891 on St Catherine Street to house the Henry Morgan & Co. department store .

Established in 1850, Henry Morgan & Co. has long been viewed as a leader among Montreal's major stores, especially because it was constantly experimenting with new ways to do retail business. In 1872, for instance, Morgan's was the first department store in Montreal to display wares in its windows, and in 1874 became the first store in Canada to set up a division by departments .

In 1891, Henry Morgan & Co. was also the first major store to move up to St Catherine Street, from its St James Street location. Several Montreal businessmen considered the move at first to be a catastrophic decision, as well as an objectionable invasion of what was then an elegant residential district . But many businesses were soon to make a similar relocation and St Catherine Street became at the beginning of the XXth century the city's most important commercial thoroughfare. .

  • What

    The Colonial House was a really luxurious building: its interior was designed to encourage shopping while providing customers with a feeling of comfort.

  • Where

    In the early Twenties, the block on which Morgan's was built enjoyed one of the highest evaluations in Canada for a commercial site.

  • When

    Henry Morgan & Co. remained a successful family business throughout the XXth century, until its fusion with the Hudson Bay Company in 1960.

  • Who

    Henry Morgan & Co. was a family business throughout its history. Established in 1850 by two brothers, Henry and James Morgan, the company was later managed by nephews, then grandnephews of Henry until 1960.